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Photo by Alexey Glebov on Unsplash

In a darkened cell heart torn asunder
By the crash of cerebral thunder
Of memories that lay with me on Limbo’s Steel Bed.
There before me, slightly battered,
An image shorn that sorely mattered.
Pictures in Time are poorly flattered,
Pictures of her run rampant through my head.
Behind these walls forgotten, but not fallen dead —
Though love and life been poorly fed.

I need not feign bad luck nor sorrow,
The day was bad still worse tomorrow,
Conspiring a grievous injury to my hurting head.
While in my skull their breeds a madness,
And though my heart pumps worthless sadness.
My smile still shines to share this gladness:
The gladness of love within my head.
Though joy and peace are daily bled —
The fires of Hope still fueled and fed.

Diverse the ways man may be broken,
By deeds or words untimely spoken,
Within the quality of life that he has led.
For by ruinous path that I have wandered,
In sinful acts no confession laundered,
Not much for rules or on law long pondered,
I ponder her beauty within my head.
While grim key keepers keep freedom’s stead —
The angst and anger is surely fed.

Longer be the nights in jail,
Than freedom’s nights that sorely pale,
Insignificant to the tick-tock in my head.
For darker be this midnight hour,
That blooms like some bilious flower,
Where mercy breaks and craves to cower,
Behind the monster marching in my head.
In the darkness of Limbo’s Steel Bed —
I ask my love where she has fled.

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.

T. Lux is the pen name for a writer incarcerated in Washington.