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Young Woman at the Gym
by James Keane

And then you are here,
just standing there, your
churned arms radiant
with sweat, not a care

for the beauty that launched
a stare barely a quarter
century beyond anything
we could share. A dumbbell’s

in your grasp,
in the grip of a glare
igniting a sneer
at anyone who would dare
come near. Someday,

I will take you
in my arms gingerly,
as in a grammar school play,
and garble something meaningful; startle
you, but in a pleasant way. Something like

I'm not hard core. Or, I'm not a bore. Or,
God I'm sore. And Sixty-Four. But that's a
mouthful of truth I'll never expel

till I know you know my overweight insight
moans when your muscles radiate
and swell – yet groans: Young woman-
warrior, please

soften the glare,
the stranglehold and
sneer igniting your radiant . . .


Originally published in the Houston Literary Review