Borders

Becca Downs

I understand borders the way

I understand a religion--lines

drawn to teach us what is wrong,

songs to swell hearts with pride,

to hide the complexities of ideals--

                that is to say

concepts aren’t purebred horses,

aren’t evenly divisible by any number,

can’t disappear when you close

your eyes and cover your ears--

with every year that passes voices

                 lift like heat from pavement, seeking

                                 to strip lines we thought etched

                                                                 like tattoos on the Body, but actually

                                                  arbitrarily pinned, arrogantly stained

                                                                                   on rocks and rivers closer to God

                                                                                   than we’ve ever been.

Becca is an Indianapolis-based writer whose work has been published in Glass Mountain, Eclectica Magazine, genesis, and Naturally Yours: Poems about Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs. She is an assistant coach for a collegiate cross country and track team, and enjoys running, hiking, reading, and sampling all the donuts this world has to offer.