My Olympia

The weightlifter fails
Under the weight of whales.

The pole vaulter
Climbs a ladder of water.

That beautiful physique
And yet being’s hide-and-seek.

With all that training
The spirit is yet straining.

At the limit of plasticity
A gymnast attains divinity.

To the stillness of speed
A sprinter must concede.

Against the elements
The athlete seeks a settlement.

The fencer feigns a thrust
And the foil turns to rust.

On the balance beam
Equilibrium’s extreme.

The wrestler finds
He grapples with another mind.

For Javier Sotomayor
Height was a metaphor.

For Mike Powell
Distance was conceptual.

In stories that are told,
In shadows that are gold,

On medals that are made
Transcendence is engraved.

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