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Photo by Cassandra Ortiz on Unsplash

Left alone with my vices, I embrace destruction.
A reality too familiar,
yet somehow this thought comforts me.
Because change is a painful process,
and to seek love, you must depart from hate,
but it seems my flight is delayed.
The lesser evil cannot afford my commute to the greater good.
I must find other means of transportation at once,
for this journey must be made in haste.
There’s no time to waste.
For what my future holds, my past has promised,
yet not delivered, I stand admonished.
My heart afflicted; my flesh conflicted.
My soul convicted, my Lord as witness.
The clock of my life clicks internally.
My soul shall live eternally,
for I have chosen the proper path.
On the way to integrity, I reached a crossroads.
And there I prayed for discretion,
guided towards the right direction.
Left alone with my vices, I chose to desert them.
And here I stand,
a humbled man.

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.

Manuel Pagan Jr. is a writer, father and passionate musician. His music can be found on Apple Music and other online platforms under his artist name “Zona.” He is incarcerated in Pennsylvania.