First Run

I began running again. I wanted to try to capture some of the quirks that went through my mind on the first run of the season.

I begin. The sky burns an intense pink, as if the world were on fire. But I am cold.

Becoming conscious of it, I thank God for breath, and regulate. Nose, mouth, repeat.

Leaves carpeting the ground already? August, you betray me. Summer seems shortest always.

I hop the fence to my alma mater, like a child breaking in to their parents’ house. The greenery of this place is breathtaking and life-giving. The track approaches.

What are you doing? Right ear asks. You’re a fool.

Sprint the straights and slow on the curves.

Take it easy on yourself, right ear says.

You never take it easy on yourself, left ear replies. You’re in training now.

I run, feeling conscious of my limits.

I look up into a sky blueing vividly. A dove hovers above me in the form of a cloud. I will run with angels.

Final lap. I sprint the first straight to exhaustion and decelerate. The slow curve is kind to me. Everything is subdued. Still many steps ahead for recovery time before the very final straight.

I burn. The sky is cold.

Do you really want to run the final straight? Right ear asks.

You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t, left ear chides.

The dove is still there. My legs do slave labour. I finish.

I feel dead; I feel alive.