— David Eisbach
There are sixty-seven steps
up to my health spa.
That’s 120 up and 40 down.
I walk it twice each week.
I carry a black gym bag
that weighs about 45 pounds.
Why so heavy? You ask.
There are usual items like sweats, shoes,
underwear, toiletries, oxygen,
a defibrillator and a stent field-kit.
If I am able to give my name at the desk,
I know I’ll probably survive another day.
I have been brooding over how much
I have shrunk, three quarters of an inch.
I’m sure it’s because I’ve always carried
a workbag outweighing that of a plumber.
The spa stairs are metal with sand paper edges.
As I was descending the stairs, I heard
faint steps matching my own.
When I stopped, it too would stop.
After spinning around several times,
like Abbot and Costello in the haunted house,
I finally noticed that the shoulder strap had slipped
below the bag and had been softly brushing each step.
My height loss had allowed the strap to hit.
At first I laughed then I began to worry.
I wondered if my brain too had shrunk.
As a kid we lived close to a shooting range.
Once while sucking a lead 45 caliber bullet,
I swallowed it. It was with me for three days.
Sometimes I imagine when I die
an autopsy will reveal only half a brain.
That would explain a lot of things.