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Glowing exes on a dark background
Photo by Michael Thiessen on iStock

A story like this was unexpected, about a man and his progression

Between youth and his consecutive deadly meth injections,

Caught in a binge so infected that it poisoned his five senses,

Digging a hole deep enough to become his own deception.

Evil beauty, one twisted connection, his heart dissected,

Friendly enough to guide him down a path in the wrong direction, 

Gathering lessons along the way that would never get corrected. 

Heavy, I know … but he looked at this drug with misconceptions, 

Idolizing encrypted euphoria that came with positive intentions, 

Jeopardizing everything that he once had, until he was fully neglected. 

Keep in mind, admitting to this life was his hardest confession,

Left with a head full of questions; why were his morals tested?

Mixed with a distorted reality and an exhausted brain, he was defenseless,

Nesting in a dark place that was inviting him to a death wish.

Only time would tell, for himself to make amends with,

Praying to the heavens, he had the strength to be replenished.

Quitting was not an option, even though his freedom was threatened, 

Rejecting every step he took through a trail of what was left of him.

Seventy-five percent of his faith would toy with his aggression, 

Tempting him to relapse again and again with no resentments.

Usually by this point ambitions would turn him into a weapon 

Viscously tearing at his self-esteem through the eyes of twisted perception.  

When in doubt, however, he will train for his journey to perfection,

X-marking the spot to his life for some future recollection.

Young, wild, and waiting to be set free, to save what he’s been blessed with,

Zoning in on the antidote, he stares at his own reflection.

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.

Eric Palladino is a poet incarcerated in Washington state.