Poems

HEAVY SLEEPER

for Eddie Hall, WSM 2017

The world’s strongest man
often stops breathing in his sleep.
He is so big that he needs
a machine to carry the weight
of his breath for him.

He can pull trains with his teeth,
deadlift tree trunks, bicep curl cars,
and he still dreams of raising
aeroplanes over his head,
of bench pressing the sky.

His eyeballs have popped
out of their sockets from the strain,
like soap from wet hands.
His deltoids have been sucked
from their pockets of bone.

Smaller men carry their children
like balloons, or keep their wives awake
with the depth of their snores,
but he tears phonebooks in half
because he has no one left to call.

His heart is a dumbbell
being lifted to a heavy beat,
and at night as he sleeps
he cannot feel himself
holding his breath too long.

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