Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA


Published in Strays.

The moment You escape the womb the struggle begins over who’s more important, You or Her. You grip to self-importance and fight to pull away from Her only to later take comfort in a series of others. That is, until one too many self-spoiled relationships justifies a brushstroke so careless that it dehumanizes an entire gender. The You remains blind until an impotent rage awakens with the recognition of this unintentionally dismissive internal mechanism. It’s a slow transition, but You try to change. You start to feel new. You do. But even under the guidance of compassion, some form of conflict remains.

Sometimes You are wrong. Sometimes You are right. Sometimes You learn by walking through mud. Sometimes You learn by walking away. Her place in your life changes, just as the Her does, herself. And Her names and faces are all eventually forgotten until there is again only one and the tension is reduced back to an extension of its initial form. The uncertainty returns, only this time it appears as a question: Will the nervous anticipation over who will take care of Her when I’m gone ever be outweighed by the selfish fear over who will take care of me when I am finally alone?