Personal Trainer
Gale Marie Thompson

Lately I've been sprouting
in an accident of ways.
It takes more to pivot,
if pivoting means more
than what my hips can handle.
My hands smell of coriander and seatbelts.
I suspect you've been stitching away
at me for a while now.
You left your beautiful brother
behind in the pantry.
His joints look like sofa cushions,
and he is crying an awful lot.
Good thing I brought my safety.
I want to do so many good things for you.
You might want to give my marmalade a try.
You might want to know
that I was born on a Tuesday.

Back there at the store
you should have said something.
What is it about my shoulders?
What else can be made of brass
and torn into channels?
I'm feeling rough from all this breakfast.
Don't yell at me about the sleeping bag.
Sometimes it feels nice
to be pocketed.

Aren't we noisy and reckoning?
We should really be ashamed of ourselves,
rocking back and forth over these snapped necks
and horseradish. You've got me all quenching.
I've seen your beautiful brother
count out loud to himself by the drywall.
I've seen your barest sleeves,
your bad eye turning.
I'm all belly fiddle anyway, big-leaved
and full of saliva.

It's not like I always think about Spain,
it's just that whenever I wake up
I am freezing and waiting
for tail lights and Barcelona cake.
You are one large bruise
in my cream of tartar.
This is the weight
of our trumpeting sing-along,
our out-of-this-world good news.
This is our fullness.

I am tired of tandem exercises.
You bring it out of me, long belts
and longitude.
Keeping the insides in
takes marrow practice.
Some days I am sorry
for the people in tight spaces.
I want to kiss them. I want to show them
how I can still pray on my sofa.
How many friends do you think I have?
How can I keep up this ellipse?

I am outside peeling a cucumber
and it is so far evening
and I want you to see me.
Pretend these circles under my eyes
are colored stamps.
Let me talk to you like pushing.
I'm holding my voice in front
like a flowerpot.
You must be so proud of my gestures.
They have the craft
of a much younger muscle.
It's like I can't stop flapping my arms
even after the game stops.