by Alex Valente

Original Italian by Caterina Sinibaldi, after Alex Valente’s translation of Andrew McMillan’s ‘the men are weeping in the gym’, ‘le donne ridono in palestra’

the women are laughing in the gym
on smooth backs words run to the music,
thoughts and dreams on sweaty mats.
solitary machines with white towels sing the intimate exhaustion of a quietness
they drink sugar and tears, swallow long days from plastic bottles as they rejoice in free bodies and tense muscles and comfy shoes.
shedded hair draws mosaics on the tiles of misty changing rooms, inviting as warm beds, moist and secret skin.
and when done they absorb vitamins and juices
to find redemption, to dry the exhaustion of the naked bodies, forgive bruises and modesty.
they retreat into the dark corners of locks, women,
they look for each other in the dirty mirror reflections, love each other with a love that’s liquid, brimming.
they never forget their keys.

Featured image: ‘This Girl Can’ via lancashiresport

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