for A: husband, artist, polio survivor

In the tick, click, tick on tile

the brace nicks and crutches thump.

Iron strips stiffen the upper lip of bone.

Hammer life down cold,

quench the buckling heat

of shame and pain

to steel.


To steal—to step up,

to get up, move on, forge

two minds to one. Fuse seams

then crack the mold. Fashion bodies

in a bold line raw.


Together we polished through urban grit

and desert blows. Dented,

scoured, yet still I know

that tick, the mechanical click,

the pitch that sounds you—

you are my gold.