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It all stems from abandonment, anger, addiction 
and abuse: my hurts, habits and destruction in life. 

Sometimes I feel like I’m being weighed down by the devil 
and hidden in a dark dungeon, where there is no light. 

So, I might as well be drowning underwater, 
fighting to come to the surface to catch my breath, 

to catch a glimpse of sunshine. I’ve 
already let go of the painful memories that 

weigh me down like that anchor. I’ve kicked addiction, 
yet I’m still bound by these shackles that keep me in toe 

with my turmoil. I keep trying to escape the hallucination 
that keeps haunting me, but it seems I’m in a trance. 

I’m afraid to close my eyes because all I’ll see is the man I lost
who was an angel to me, the most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen: 

A man who now seems to be
a faint memory in the far distance.

Sick inside from silently dying, and lacking motivation
because love has once again let me down.

I just want it all to go away and let me parade my true
happiness. I want, more than anything, peace.

I’ve had my ups and I’ve had my downs.
Now I feel as though I’m staring at the ground. 

The devil is my enemy; I swear it’s him 
who is always trying to rock my soul.

But I keep leveling up. I know God’s got His 
hand on me somehow; I keep escaping death. 

I know God is my guiding light and daily 
I remind myself who I am. 

Pick my head up, hold it high. 
Weak and worthless no more, not I!

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.

Celia Puente is a writer incarcerated in Wisconsin.