from Letter to the Aliens


we bring our bodies every

day or few or week to

the gym where we run around

the track and squat with weights strapped

to our backs and lift pounds and

pounds to keep our muscles

dear aliens

from atrophying into whatever

unused tissue becomes

and also to keep up

appearances on our journey to

sexual satisfaction and ultimately

in some cases to the sustaining

of our gentle green species

dear aliens

I have never thought of this

as my task and it is so difficult to convince

myself to go when I would

rather be reading or drawing or writing this letter to you

so in years past I would bribe myself

dear aliens

I would tell myself if I went to the gym on the college campus

I would pass anyway on my way to work

I would be able to shower there

I would be able to save time

I would be able to watch

dear aliens

the undergraduate boys undressing and

showering and wanting

nothing of me in the way

I wanted both to have their

bodies and to have their bodies

dear aliens

if you have not already noticed

I am a man who is attracted to men

and I feel always

unburdened by the instinctual need

men who are attracted to women

an insurmountable majority

must feel

dear aliens

I cannot describe their bodies accurately

except to say they are lean

and they are one of many

things I will never possess

dear aliens

the locker room is large and busy

with men preparing for the gym or

preparing for leaving and

it was easy to stumble in and see

a dozen and some

even soaping their thighs in the shower room

which could accommodate fifteen

and one time I was in there alone when

what must have been the entire water

polo team came in from practice

removing their speedos under the spray

and I did not know what to do

but to leave

dear aliens

it was an embarrassment

too much for me to see and

it is interesting how what you perceive to be

your space can in an instant belong to someone else

dear aliens

I am writing today

because I went back to that gym after months away

doing anything but

and aside from the ridicule I was forced

to heap upon myself for being

unable to sustain a mile’s run

I saw they had installed new stainless steel partitions between the showerheads

and it struck me like a death

dear aliens

not only of how things were

which is only seldom consistent

but of the poor metals wanting only

to continue their quiet subterranean lives

being ripped out to provide

the privacy desired by a blue few of us and

dear aliens

I am sure these partitions are contributing to our downfall

dear aliens

how much longer could our planet survive

us if we lived with less shame

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