The Gym at Belvedere

a poem by Akachi Obijiaku

Luxury is all the rage

As the zone one high life seeps into the muscle groups of dear old pensioners

The towels are warm

The accent thick, native, and weirdly Queen Victorian

Gratification is not delayed

As they drink red wine and give the personal trainers high fives for easing the pace

You know you’re in a different land when the gym floor is faux fur

You know you’ve stepped out of line when the dogs can get manifuckingcures in the lounge

Battle lines are drawn amongst the upper-class neighbours

As the stay-at-home mothers, wives of oil barons, break sweat to see who can stretch the widest in Pilates

Bespoke Kegels they call the late-night class

Bespoke health they’ve convinced themselves they can acquire

With my mop firm and my head down, I return to my barren lightbulb-bust basement post

As they carry on with their premium yoga and tax-deductible charity spins

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