Happy birthday, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling.
Lots of love, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
Vision me this, roomie:
a mile-long treadmill
unfurled across the Obersee
one end cleat-hitched to Immenstaad’s pier,
the other untethered, to let
the somehow pontooned
black track loll
across water grey as lavender
by the January dawn breeze.
Fuck me it’s cold
but you’re the one in shorts and trainers
who steps on, jiggling each leg’s
already stretch-lubed muscles.
A megaphone crackles.
Auf die Plätze…
and you’re off
as cockily slow as I thought you’d be –
but your saunter’s
by that cog-torqued deck;
and that left stride right doubling
left speed right tweaking
suckers you in to a jog
then a sprint then –
a couple of hundred metres in –
to left-right full pelt right-left
knees right-left pistoning
ripples right-left patterning out
towards the lakeside.
Where, though I know I’m lost
among the thousand abstract others
white-knuckling their flags and banners, I wave
as I think how Pheidippides’ Nike+-busting
marathon was a measurable run
but a pedometer would know as much
as an armchair pedant knows history
as faster than fast as can be
you spittle-smile at the skewwhiff skein
of geese babble-honking above,
about to make for planes
and satellites an arrow
of this disappointed footbridge,
this nowhere path,
before you can arc into
the swan-dive of meaning
with a step
not so much missed
as mistaken: foot into water
that splits to blood as it slaps
the skin of your cheek.