Monday, June 11, 2018

Ode to Stairmaster by Jess Smith

Ode to Stairmaster
Dear ladder to nowhere, dear Escher sketch
made manifest, thank you for allowing
my broke, hungover body to climb you, an
oblivious ascension, lifting the crescent
of my ass so it doesn’t drag on the floor
like it feels like doing most days, mostly
when the wind carries a crisp apple scent
and in my other life I would have put on
his sweater, cranked the thermostat up
for the first time in the season. Thank you,
Stairmaster, you burned-down house
with only a staircase remaining, for letting me
pretend there are still bedrooms at the top
I can enter, children I need to wake in time
for pancakes. Thank you for making me hotter
in the loneliest way, for your attached screen
on which I watch endless loops of mindless
TV on silent, listening instead to sex-pop
songs with a thick beat, reminding myself
of the task underfoot, believing that if T-Pain
could see me, he’d be into it, maybe
serenade me from the top of the hill
I’ll never reach. Girl it must be a crime
to be as fine as you. Thank you, T-Pain.
Thank you, heavy bass. And thank you, dear,
metal, gaping mouth whose teeth I scale
every day, whose black mechanics are just
what a heartless girl like me needs, you
who agree that the artless progression
toward improved-nudity-viewing is a worthy
pursuit. Dear body, dear ass, dear ever-harder
heart — I owe it all to you, Stairmaster. Don’t
give up on me now. I’m not even close. 

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