28 January 2019

Winter Workout

I had to try the steep entrance twice,
Battling snow-covered ice
With my front-wheel drive Corolla.
Nevertheless, I arrived five minutes early
So I played Hearts with obliging robots
While outside, flurries softened 
The sharp, icy edges of the world
And the full moon's light 
(A light not even its own)
Overwhelmed the harshbright fluorescent bulbs 
Humming patiently above the empty parking lot.

Fifteen minutes later, sweat dripped off the tip of my nose
As I army-crawled my mass across artificial turf,
Feet on plastic sliders and elbows protected by a foam mat.

Thirty minutes after that, my lungs were aflame,
My heartmuscle flexed frantically
As my artificial rower 
Skimmed the surface of a digital pond
And I fought to focus my mind
On maintaining my average watts.

Finally, after one last stretch
Of warm, fibertorn muscles, I stumbled
Once more unto the icy breach,
Pausing in the parking lot
To enjoy the Arctic blast
That had I had hurried through
Only an hour before.

Bodyheat and sweatvapor drifted from me
In visible foggy waves,
Carrying my thermal energy beyond,
Dissipating my warmth
Into the insatiable cold of the wintry morning.

Five more minutes in that wind,
And I would begin to shiver.
Five more hours in it, dressed as I was,
And I would surely die.

But this cold is warm
To most of the universe.
Even in the dead of winter,
Even if I were to freeze solid
In this lovely snow-coated parking lot,
I'd still be a toasty 273 degrees Kelvin.

All the heat in my body -- all the heat 
From all the suns in existence --
Would hardly make a dent
In Absolute Zero.

As I pondered all this, 
A quarter of a million miles off,
The moon continued her task:
Reflecting the radiance 
Of distant nuclear explosions
Onto the pristine snow
That I had to disrupt, defile
To get to my Corolla.

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