Prison nights are silent and full of emptiness.
Some nights I stay up late to read
while cries of those condemned can be overheard,
inaudible whispers echoing off the walls.
Sadness envelops me
like a state blanket covered in lint, or shade, or rain.
Yeah, rain — that’s more like it,
because it feels as if I’m soaked in an abyss of steel,
wondering if my voice will echo.
I can’t hear myself,
but I continue to listen,
I turn a page, but the book feels heavy;
the words are moving.
My eyes attempt, unsuccessfully, to hold them still.
Objects lacking in form.
A toilet flushes, dragging my dreams away,
washing out to a faraway place.
Somewhere I’ve never been and will never see.
Somewhere, perhaps, filled with hope.
Unlike this hollow cell.
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.