Run…ning…the… bl…ock

with each stride
your heart’s pounding ten times in between
your feet are numb
and the only way you know there’s
ground beneath them is cause
you don’t fall over
the air squeezes your chest like a vice
nostrils constrict
and you wonder how with a subzero chill
your lungs could still burn like napalm
curse, heave, spit
with insides about to burst
and the dull thuds of worn out sneakers
keeping strained
but steady rhythm to the pavement
to the swish of dead grass
on the frozen ground

last lap
ice stings your eyes like sand
wind searing frostbitten ears
one more block to go
one last thrust to drive out the damage
collapse, catch breath,


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