Self-Portrait as a Meathead at the Gym

God, that mirror

loves me, loves that woman’s

ass in its hot pink tights, loves

the lights that splinter and shine

in the sheen of her sweat, my shirt,

sleeveless, shredded, an ephod, iPod

tucked into my shorts, coarse

hair sprouts from my mostly bare

chest. I am dying for rest from this


obsession, everything

I do, I do for the father who lives

in the house up the street, lives

in the cells of my delts, in my dreams

I run from my father, I run for him

I force it, drop to the floor for him, give him

twenty, throw money at this

body until it turns

into a something else, something

separate from the self

who raps along with the music

blasted to his hear, music

only he can hear, who drops his weight

to throw his hands in the air, who dances

for his self, his ever-changing, newfound

profound, knock-off, yearning

for it, begging for it, preening

selfless self, my god, that

mirror, all my might.


About evanduyne

I'm assistant professor of writing at Stockton University, where I'm also affiliated faculty in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. I work on Sylvia Plath, contingent faculty, and creative writing around trauma and domestic violence.
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