September 4, 2014

Intimacy in the Yoga Studio. ~ Michael Mark {Poem}


Exhausted, I spread my arms

in Savasana


and by accident,

though some say there’s no

such thing,


I touch the hand of

the yogi on the next



Before I can retrench

my fingers are intertwined

in another’s.


I keep my eyes closed

tight, scrunched,

like when I get a shot at

the doctor’s.


Not wanting to be there.

Not wanting to feel.


Perfect for Corpse Pose.


I was so deep in my yoga

I can’t picture

who was beside me.

I can only see my wife.


My cheating heart is

about to have an attack.


The teacher says,

“Let yourself surrender fully.”


Is she nuts?

Or maybe this is a practical joke

and she’s in on it?


My monkey mind

goes berserk.


The person next to me

must think I want to hold hands.

They probably think I’m hitting on them!


Gross! Gross! Super gross!


And in the spirit of oneness—

they feel obligated

to respond, but inwardly

are repulsed, violated…going

to lodge a harassment complaint

immediately after?


I will be banned from the studio!

My face will be on the yoga perv



Or maybe they wanted to

hold my hand? Maybe

they were in desperate need

of community and the divine forces

of compassion gently

directed my hand over?


When the teacher begins

to guide us out of this pose

my hand is softly released.

I slowly bring it to my side,


keeping my eyes closed. I

do not want to face

the situation, the person,

the police,

myself in reflection.


Too awkward, too physical

too spiritual.




So I stay on my back on

my mat, motionless,

sweating like in the

middle of a Chaturanga to

High Plank to

Cobra to Downward Dog



I wait, feeling the bodies

walking by, out of the

studio until I am sure

I’m the only one

in the studio.


After two deep cleansing

breaths I make a

Downward Eyes Dash

to the locker room.


“That was nice, wasn’t it?”

the only guy in there says to me.


“Yes,” I say. “It was.”


I’m not sure what I am agreeing to.

Nor to whom.


But it was nice.



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Editor:  Travis May

Photo: Sandra Cockayne/Pixoto

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Michael Mark

Michael Mark bows to all his Teachers. He is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has been published in Red Booth Review,Every Day Poets, Scapegoat, Camel Saloon, OutsideIn Magazine, The Thing Itself, Silver Birch Press, elephant journal, The New Verse News, Word Soup End Hunger and other nice places. He invites you to follow him on @michaelgrow so he can follow you, in case he gets lost.