Shishir 2022 Poems - Peter Mladinic


By Peter Mladinic


Should I go to the gym and build up my body
or go to the cemetery and weep silently
thinking of bodies decomposing in the ground?
Late afternoon, errands done, will I stretch,
pump iron, feel the swell in the bicep, the thigh,
or stroll among graves, stop at one and read
the name, remember the life, think of eyes
once light with life—flesh reduced to skull?


I’m thinking of two in Prairie Haven, recalling
his walk, her laughter. To visit those graves,
the shade trees, the dappled light would break
the routine. Or should I keep it together
and in the gym among the flabby, the fit
admire hard bodies, hotties? Crunch the abs,
jog the treadmill, wipe away sweat
as the face in the mirror questions and stares.


Peter Mladinic's poems have recently appeared in Mad Swirl, Divot and other online journals. An animal rights advocate, he lives in Hobbs, New Mexico, USA


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