Smug Stomach

He glowed in the giddy
flow of endorphins–
biceps still swelled with
blood near the skin, tight
stomach smug under
crisp white shirt.  To the
hum of caffeine, he looked
around the meeting–felt
lucky to be himself, to have
been at the gym at the
break of dawn, to have
sipped coffee and slipped
on a clean, grey suit.

But then the vent
above his seat
whirred whirred into
life–he shifted
his back, furrowed his
brow. And the caffeine
hum came down
a decibel or two, as
a steady stream of
air conditioned breeze
teased at the
growing bald spot
on top of his head.

Jonathan Cooper’s poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in various publications, including The New Plains Review, The Statesman Journal, The Commonline Journal, and Poetry Pacific. He lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada.

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