Exercise Bike

Rachel Squires Bloom

the speedometer clicks to the frenetic rhythm

of pumping thighs. Like clockwork

she mounts the same time each day,

hits the road, up down and up,

a parody of love not made this week

or last. astride, she burns off

last night's martini and glass of wine,

all motion, pedaling away from unbidden hints

on where her husband really is. In illusory

dynamic she clicks over hills of thought

and the articulate static of radio talk shows.


In place, fanciest house on the street

she flies mile after mile, measures

the fractions she's come, never what's left to go.

The weird metal horse is set to stride inclines,

covered ground enough this week alone

to reach New York, had she wanted to go.


Her heart's rate leaps at the same time

daily, size fourteen to twelve and back.

Still she races the road that takes

her back to this same room

every day.