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My Life, My Fight

As I stand precariously on the edge of my precipice, I am faced with the dangerous realization of the depths to which my fall would take me. Each day is like a breeze that threatens to send me plummeting down to my demise. If I lose my balance, my fall will take me to an abysmal daze. As I wait to hear your voice, carried by the wind, preceding your arrival, I hold. 

The Cost

At the cost of my own life,
I gave you an idea what yours should be like.
At the cost of my own humanity,
I showed you loyalty exists in its rarity.
At the cost of my own emotions,
I showed you how to survive turbulent oceans.
All at the cost of my own pain.

Hidden Gem

The ignorance is a really trying aspect of life here. Most people do not want better for themselves, and the cacophony it creates drags the feeble-minded into its vortex. This voyage I have been on, I see how it melts me down, sifts the minerals from the dirt, forces me to endure the heat of Hell’s flames. Arising from life’s forge, I will showcase the strength of my exterior, the clarity of my brilliance and the rarity of surviving the pressure. 


I showed you a side of me most women never get to see
A man not accepted by today’s society
I aim to inspire others, tell them be all you can be.
It’s a real selfless act to put someone ahead of me.
Take one look into my eyes and get lost in a sea of T:
Wave caps, tidal waves, I will create a tsunami.
That’s a turbulent path not intended for the weak.

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.

Travis Kaleo Vales is a Hawaiian writer incarcerated in California.