Synecdoche is by Catherine Louise Taylor, exploring fitness culture in a witty, insightful take. We hope you enjoy Synecdoche.


A pair of lungs on the treadmill.

Bouncing flesh balloons

squeezed into purple trainers,

ready to pop.

Blown up by burning breath

And the determination to be ‘skinny’;

sucked back out by exhaustion.


A bicep lifting a dumbbell.

Beefy muscles push red-hot veins

To the surface,

Turgid and desperate

To excite a very specific body part

Of the woman to his left.


A group of glutes at the squat rack.

Squeezing themselves so tightly that

Their circulation might


Praying to Kim Kardashian

That the searing pain

Will add an extra inch.


A six-pack of abs on the floor.

Spread apart,

Then crunched together,

The grinding gears of an unstoppable


Fed by steroids

And the mantra

‘No carbs before Marbs’.


A heart on the rowing machine.

Pulling rigged handles and

Pushing towards cardiac arrest.

Close to bursting,

She stops for respite.

But only for one minute.


By Catherine Louise Taylor.