The landscape told me

what I was in for.

The simple slope

that began and graduated

to thirty degrees

in less than two hundred feet,

was what I was in for.

 

This place has killed dogs.

I had seen it happen.

 

The man ran past me

the first time

with no shirt on.

He wasn’t working on his tan.

He didn’t need one.

The sun doesn’t recognize

people as dark as him.

 

I figured he was advertising.

Hollywood actor or model.

He jogged back down past me.

Huffing, making it happen

I continued up, thirty degree’s.

 

The third time, he reminded me

of some of the climbing scenes

in The Last of the Mohicans.

Those were real men.

 

I was still walking up, slow,

and still I was huffing.

He was definitely advertising,

marketing his product.

 

I only thought bastard

out of envy,

but I did think it.

 

One day,

that will be me,

shirt off, no flab

tattoos on display

 

I will jog by

look into a face

and know he thinking

“What a bastard.”

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