Nearly prone, heels ceilingward, then
ceding to gravity, to fear, knees descend to
sternum, a worthwhile grind in the hamstring.
The new pain like gouging your own wound,
a willingness to suffer and in that extremity,
transcendence, freeing oneself from triviality.
The weightlifter says, pain is weakness leaving
the body. Each day a different muscle group,
yet always seeking symmetry, balance. He knows
it's not what you lift, how many pounds, but how
you lift it, that the range of movement is what
quickens the muscle to consciousness. The bulge
of the quadricep surfacing like that awful awareness:
my love did not have to die, but I had to kill it.
From Hard Ass (2013) by Sharon McCartney