14th STREET GYM
Beauty that does not disguise the wound,
but reads through the lack of it,
the one-armed man lifts himself again
on the assisted pull-up machine—
sleeve of sparrows and morning glories
swelling with each upward pull.
In the locker room, I praise his ink
and he turns to thank me, and so I notice
(what you can’t restore, inscribe)
the blue wing needled on the socket.
~ Mark Doty