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Hello, hello I say into the phone,

You have a call from Christopher Cox… Oh I guess nobody was home.

I waited all day to get on the phone and make that call,

And like my nightmares I am left to live and die, I am in a fall.

A letter from the Organization PRISM told me that DPSCS (Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services) realizes that times for prisoners are hard,

And I don’t believe the paper that it was written on unless they have empathy and have been behind this side of the bars.

Or cells, dungeons, cages or in my case, dog kennels and doors,

Need I, should I, the reasons, forget it this is why I say more.

Because I am told that a 15 minute Skype visit is to keep us safe and it is for our own protection.

Ignorance defines unconsciousness when all of the world has yet to understand the message.

I said they claim that as our guardians their job was to keep us safe,

Yet how come my 1st lung, asthma and 2 hospital trips in 2019 is not a deflection against the correctional officers’ mace?

We are told that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease,

Just like the prison industrial system that denies more NCR evaluations over guilty pleas.

I cry, I shout, I bleed, I’ve victimized,

I hurt, I worry, I hate that corona will first individualize.

As I have sat on 24 hour long term isolation and confinement.

I am affiliated, yet COVID-19 has me in dreary and bound.

Christopher Cox‘s submission was dated May 14, 2020, from Maryland.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Chris.X is a writer incarcerated in Maryland.