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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Storming in bed till morning, dying in my sleep,
my victim’s son eclipsing a pale yellow moon,
barrel smoking, while darkness unnumbs us,
I arise a living corpse, still anemic with regret —
exit wounds fresh as a newborn’s belly button.

The day carries on like any other, yet I cannot
shake the feeling that a piece of me remains
inside my pillow, my polyurethane headstone,
as feathers flutter past bar covered windows.
None of this seems real, but only because it is.

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.

P.M. Dunne

P.M. Dunne is a PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow. Read his work at or see it performed on