The Line (prose)

by Al Alvir

“If everything is on the line, I wanna be right here at home.

But I know I need to get off the line or be on neither side alone.

 

When the blood is dry, the bandage washed, the leather starts to crack

Like wrinkles ply with brandished scars, I weather the attack.
 

If everything is on the line, I wanna be right here at home.

My body’s lying. My mommy’s vying for a place that’s not my own.
 

My daydreams rig my nightmares with a fear of open roads

I wake to sprint and breathe on. Years, I’m racing to be slow.

 

My labor is the mute complaints and hustle for more purse.

Every day I look forward to a struggle that’s much worse.

 

Cancer. Beat. Mourning too. Divorce and war. What’s left?

I’m looking for the battle where I stand against myself.

 

If everything is on the line, I wanna be right here at home.

But I know I need to get off the line or be on neither side alone.”

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