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Gilbert Allen

The Steroid Angel


This butterfly with biceps,

this stainless-steel maiden

with five rings tattooed

to her ankles, dives

over the pool, then flutters

to the far side—the world’s first

gold medalist with dry feet.


On the center podium, listening

to that familiar anthem rise

toward the only flag

God trusts, she frees herself from the snare

drums, soaring with the trumpets,

toes pinioned to the very top

of that heavenly pole, home free.







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