Photo by Prince David on Unsplash

Afraid from being in the dark so long, 
confused at the daggers life keeps throwing at me. 

Blindness to the reality of things 
keeps me stumbling beyond return. 

It’s slimy in the beast’s belly: 
pain claws at my brain and insides; 

it clouds my thoughts and emotions.
But I keep escaping life’s attempts to trap me.

I am like a lion with a grudge, 
ready to strike its prey,
but somehow I regain direction.

Sometimes I feel hindered
and humiliated by the pain that I’ve allowed 

to be inflicted on me. I’ve been 
indecisive about the thoughts jumbled in my brain —

sometimes, I just want a new one.
I feel like there is a knife caught in my chest 

and some days it goes deeper into my flesh.
Love has yet again let me down. 

I can’t seem to shake the lingering thoughts.
I just want to be free,

but I’m still trapped, lost, 
trying to keep climbing the mountain. 

The road is narrow, but I’m optimistic;
I’m still patient and persistent.

It seems there’s a torrent on the inside 
that keeps quaking my soul.

I’m in quarantine and I’m restless: 
must be the world weakened by the venom of the virus. 

I’m relentless and resilient, willing to come back 
to the bright side and walk on the water.

 
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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Celia Puente

Celia Puente is a writer incarcerated at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.