The Man at The Gym

He carries his arms like two broken doorframes
stuck away from his body
not able to fully close.

Before the magazine article told him about beauty—
perfection as an equation he’d yet to solve—
he was special. As a boy, all of the stray dogs
of his neighborhood loved him.
His arms forever closing around them,
their paws a muddy map
on his white-as-the-under-side-of-a-frog chest.

Now, I see him in the mirror by the weight rack,
counting himself away from his baby fat.

I do not know him, but I imagine
he kicks the covers off in his sleep
as he runs towards those neighborhood dogs at full speed,
his arms are rockets arrowed toward
all those lucky bitches.

Leah Welch studied poetry at Chatham College and is currently residing in Los Angeles where she writes poetry, plays, and screenplays. She dreams of finding a dog and owning a truck.