The girl next to me strains as though
she’s on a quest, not an elliptical.
Constant sweat, an occasional groan.
She keeps murmuring, “Oh God. Oh God.”
(I realize I know how she sounds in bed.)
Does she see herself performing
holy rites? Oblation? Purge?
Does she see herself in the mirror?
Does she see herself at all?
Does she think she’s climbing Jacob’s ladder—
her fat angel ascending, away,
her lean angel descending to bless her?
Next to her, I walk slowly toward myself
in the mirror, where the solid treadmill
purrs and inclines gently, if at all.
Marnie Bullock Dresser lives in Spring Green, Wisconsin with a fair amount of clutter, one son, two cats, and one husband. Marnie is almost 50 years old. Marnie is a dorky white woman who blogs at marniere.wordpress.com.