Stay the course. She is ready.

The field of runners is wide, is competitive.

She is calm. 

Runners approach the course, like predators, alert, silent and stealthy, informed, trained. What they are about to do, all of them, rotate every tissue and cell, bend and explode, churn and burn through the crisp air that fuels them, around the track, they have done millions of times before this one time, they have done in their sleep, during dreams, in meditation, in life’s rehearsals, over and over, the incalculably fast turnover of themselves, the emptying of thought, the exactness of being in, of having acceleration, on demand, powerful, bone and muscle, ligament, fascia, nerves of steel, infinite rhythm, shattering all purpose and function except one, the win.

She bends before, perching on finger-blades and foot-springs, her breath feeds ecstasy, beyond the minutiae of her own cells to the limitless biology surrounding her, she is, at this, Moment, everything, she is the instant personified at its utmost reality, (and un-reality) from birth and beyond and death on repeat, life is ending, is suspended, upon the explosion of a gun start, and the outcome is understood before she was born, when at first tick she wore rhythm and speed as good.

They’re off.

The air cracks and cleaves. Women, females, humans of feminine nature, a bank of them bandy and jostle, pound and flame, and forward fly, fierce, into battle to prove–


As the race unfolds, inexplicably the competition disappears, one by one. As the spectators, (her audience) watches, the number of women racing around the track lessen, fade, and disappear like magic, or mystery, but nonetheless, it is obvious to everyone watching there are only and suddenly two runners in competition: she who began it and one other one.

She could never have anticipated the razor-sharp wire, more magic, more mystery, like a racing runner’s winner’s tape strung wide and full across the track, (her destiny) she never saw it until, as they are watching, it severs her right arm, and right arm only, as she breaks the plane of its taut block, its miniscule metal and gnashing teeth slices her limb, nano-jiffy, into bedlam and chaos. Her right forearm, wrist and hand rotates stump over fingertips, bloody end over polish, turns and spirals until landing soft thud-like, skid and slide into a resting twitch atop the outside lane behind her, she still runs, unknowingly handless, still compelled by her inner insanity– running to win.

The other lone woman on the track is mind blown, and furious. The other lone woman doesn’t understand how she, her other, continues running and racing and running, farther and farther away from what was once her right arm, now severed and bloody and dying. The spectators do not remove their focus from it, lying there, her arm, not entirely unmoving on the track. Some spectators faint, gasp, scream, throw up, curse, lose their minds. Applaud.

She is still running. It’s simple (for her). She knows what is expected of and from her. She is still buying every word of life’s lessons taught her because she has no mind (as a runner, when she runs) but body only, iced with passion and technique and drive and ruthlessness, compartmentalized into solitude and mission and fortitude and cost. She must win. She must race. (And she believes her arm can wait, that she can and will, will it, imagine it, imagine herself, whole.)

She survives.

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