Reading Lines – Samantha Albala

etched down the center of my palms
is a problem
coordinated to destroy

The massage therapist claims it starts higher up
and if you want to get technical, developed in the spine
Oh how divine!
always the bone radiating conflict
too sore and slow to heal in time

Tell me, can I mull over my fate over a glass of wine?
Fermented beyond my age
—no, no, not old enough to be gargling vinegar
just young enough for it to be below curdled
I will not cling to green glass or smooth over with salt
My sharp edges and crude instincts don’t know how to settle

This virus
Think spread over like sunshine—
Or no, frogs,
I’d rather be a step in the plague than the cause of cancer
Fast
Not slow is the pace my heart craves

contemplate ice cream, no gelato
save the fat % for a winter’s sleep
quick enough to avoid a residue on pavement
Go, go, go

The doctor said, let’s check your gut
invade your esophagus
and be sure
You want to be sure don’t you?
No, not really, no

please, not being sure equates completely to fantasy
and since when do poets want reality

The boss says, stay home if you’d like
twiddle with the classified
or spruce up your LinkedIn page
Look alive, my dear, look alive

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