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Four layers of cement boxes,
Stacked by the waters of a creek,
Each one filled with music.

A stranger sits on my bunk,
Eating a box of tiny animals,
It is his room, too.

Green beans and meatballs
In steel boxes in hot water.
A pool of brown gravy!

I accept the filled plastic,
Slouching along the steel rails,
Collecting myself from the assortment.

I find myself in the Rec,
Once again a disaster.
A cacophony of sounds.

The large orange ball,
Like a hurling meteor,
Gravity descending.

The plastic ball bounces
Between wooden hands on the green table —
Someone is knocking!

A sharp diamond of light
In the middle of the dark glass.
Then: “The Cosby Show!”

Theo, are you crying?
There in the dark room in the box?
Theo, are we brothers?

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.

Gary K. Farlow

Gary K. Farlow is a writer and the author of “Prisonese: A Survivor’s Guide to Speaking Prison Slang.” He is incarcerated in South Carolina.