I used to lift weights in college for track and field. I loved going to the gym, not only to sculpt myself and get stronger, but also to partake in the environment, the sounds, and the smell of iron plates. Bodybuilders fascinate me.
Bodybuilders Emily R. Mahlen
Our community pumps and strains,
heaves and pants between racks
of metal and long wall mirrors.
Cut muscles push forth from
bone, veins pulse on foreheads
and forearms, sweat streams on.
We like to lift, to hold weight in our
hands, pile it onto our shoulders
and squat it, press it above our
chests and necks. We like to lift, to
watch muscles come alive under
skin, to feel the firmness of tense
flesh, to flush hot with resolve.
We push until muscle fibers burst
to get big, strain until each thick
rope of flesh bulges. We eat
masses of protein- meat, eggs,
tastless bars and shakes.
These sounds soothe usó
the clank of steel bars and iron
plates, the clap of putting powder
on hands, the labored grunts and
swears of those trying to squeeze
out just one more strenuous rep.