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Ode To My Biceps


Underneath the skin wrapped around my upper arm, a biceps.

Sometimes I bend my arm at the elbow and grope my biceps.

The bulbous growth keeps me company.

True, it’s mostly silent and accepting of my prodding, but sometimes it speaks.

Like when I smile or whisper sweet coos into its flesh-capped zenith, my biceps tenderizes and tells me to p l e a s e  s t o p the fucking flattery.

I say,

“But I can’t help myself. You’re beautiful.”

My biceps strongly pumps 3-7 times into my cheek, smiting me for the emasculation.

I say,

“You are! You’re huge! You’re Zeus!”

And to prove my point I drag my biceps to the nearest mirror.

My biceps says,

“Oh no, please, don’t do this now. You pamper me too much. I’m supposed to be rough. Rough me up, fucker.”

I say,

“Listen, when times get hard and you really do get roughed up, you’ll whine for the return of these days.”

My biceps doesn’t know how to answer this hypothetical. It flattens into my arm as if trying to melt into the crowd.

I say,

“You can’t hide from me. Look at you! You’re huge!”

It’s undeniable: reflected in the spit-stained mirror, the most violent knot. Veins push and pulse bluish green.

My biceps says,

“Put me away post-haste. You’re making me a pansy. I can’t take this pampering.”

I laugh with distilled conceit. I puff my chest and crank my arm a little harder to get the bulge just right. It sits on me, a packed snowball.

My biceps says,

“Fuck you!”

I say,

“Anger brings out your sinews.”

And I crank my arm harder until there’s a click and a pop and then a lot of pain.

I’m scared to look at what I’ve done. I feel like I’ve ruined a good thing.

I say,

“Speak. I’m begging you. Just say something. Please.”

My biceps doesn’t answer.

I stare rabidly at what used to be a formidable pipe and see nothing but concavity.

In desperation I massage my biceps. Friction will nurse the thing back to health.

Warmth heals.

But nothing: my biceps is down for the count, flaccid like a hanging elephant trunk.

I go to the refrigerator and snap open a can of Aloe Drink.

I let the juicy pulp lull on my tongue before violently gulping everything down.

On my balcony I look at the swimming pool with no one enjoying its poisonous waters.

I pinch off a basil leaf.

I say,

“Will you ever be normal again?”

I rub my biceps with the basil leaf, tiger balm.

I pinch off another basil leaf and rub my biceps until I think I’ve got enough on there for pesto.

Hunger jangles in the pit of my stomach.

I say,

“Come back to me.”

But my biceps caves in even more when I carefully try to make a muscle.

It’s angering, it’s depressing.

I say,


I crunch the empty can of Aloe Drink with my forearm muscles and toss it in the direction of the swimming pool, but without the help of my devastated biceps it falls f a r far short.

I say,

“You’ve left me no choice.”

I grab the olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmesan out of the pantry and cook some pesto biceps, which I then eat using fork and knife.

Digestion will rebuild everything. Put it back in its right place.

November 9, 2010 3:00 pm

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