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All This is Not Downhill

Brian
Tacang


In Your
House


Twin


Suitcase

All This
is Not
Downhill

Just Don�t
Let Them
Drop Me



 

My feet look like square bags of gelatin,
puffy and uncertain.
My legs are still firm,
but I wonder when they�ll start their lumpish ambling toward
doughiness.
The flesh around my waist has been forgiving,
providing a pliant yet uncomfortable amnesty
for years of caloric crimes.
My pectorals,
once a buoyant and beckoning pair,
have multiplied
into a foursome;
a mixed doubles tennis match that volleys across my ribcage
with only the slightest provocation.
Such as a sneeze,
or laughter,
or turning on my side.
Tensing the muscles on the back of my skull makes the lines on my face 
disappear
which is redeeming.
Momentarily.
But then I have to do something with my features
like speak or smile, and the fractures reappear.
And I grunt.
The gusty, old man grunt of my father
when I sit, stand,
or anything in between.
I suppose the grunting gives voice to joints that, in my well-oiled youth, 
never complained
while they
did the Hustle.
Every effort I exert �
climbing stairs, bathing the dog, housework �
every eye-wincing pain,
every wheeze,
exposes the lie they call downhill.
All this is not downhill.
It is
unmistakably
uphill.


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