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Every day I rise I see steel bars
Every night I go to sleep with these scars
Guards on gun rails loaded with ammunition
authority allows us to live by permission.
We don’t always realize the shock and horror
after years of taking convict showers
of power, I have nothing left
only the marks of emotional effects.
Death hangs in everlasting expression,
until one day I leave this dimension.
Then on to the next journey,
No more harassment to burn me.
Hurt me no more I implore,
am I a devil, angel, or victim of the law?
Traumatized beyond anything imaginable, 
death by incarceration, eaten by cannibals.
I’m not dead yet, only separated, 
handcuffed to the slave ship I hated. 
Demented equally with my captors,
mental problems bounce into millions of chapters. 

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Christopher Henriquez

Christopher Henriquez is a writer incarcerated on Death Row at San Quentin, California.