The toneless words of a beautiful reporter in my headphones
and transcribed across the attached TV screen don’t surprise me
as I go up, down, up, down in pink gym shorts.
She could have felt the same way before
the birthdays stopped;
monotonous, running but going nowhere.
Teenage boy caught in crossfire in Newark, killed
When my suffering can’t compare I increase the incline,
seeking a reason to feel better about my privilege,
here on a purple elliptical, the slick inside
of Planet Fitness like a heaving
windowless box. “You’re burning 68
more calories per hour!” The new deficit
scrolls across my screen, inviting me to take
more away from my body.
The remains of three women identified after 20 years
The word ‘remains’ is a reminder that a body is not forever.
Around me, dozens of women in sync try to shrink,
limbs flailing on bulky machines,
as the families of the girls
on the TV screen have never been happier
to have their daughters’ bodies, whole again.