Criminous-worn starry night sky, ink-swirling night sky
looked down upon a swarm of prison numbers, whose violence
remembered in crimson bloodsport stains, aged in wrinkles
of a crease-lined hardscrabble face, etched in every day
and all night long that she, Salinas Valley State Prison, lived.
Had ever her prison inmates’ night-yard sky misbehaved
in such calamitous inhospitality? Her gangbangers haunted
by chagrinning shades of their own bullet-riddled dead,
whose shadows gathered as darkness came with her night-flying
raptorial ravening ravens! As the crow flies crowing
their boasts, cant-cawing in prideful, sycophantically
upbeat rap rants, their black feathered highlights shine a corpse
wake in eerie glow of inimical gunmetal blue,
awakening the endless snaking coils of razor
wire, whose rows and rows and double rows of chain-link fence
that seem to go on and open forever in miles, surrounding
the prison grounds like a huge monster Venus’ flytrap,
waiting ever so patiently to electrify the captured inmates,
sucking the life juices electrically out of ghetto sons,
their bone-dry carcasses left to litter graveyard
prison yards where tumbleweed thorn bushes crown their skulls.
Many a minority prison inmate sacrificially died for society’s ills!
Born of a rough start, dying imprisoned, starry night
skyed, while the ruff-start dogs get loved and go free …
The prison guards see from behind their masks,
as starry hosts from heaven look so down upon us.
When the criminals imprisoned journal of this night,
a crazy whirlwind swirling dust and sky northern lights-like,
Salinas Valley State Prison’s ink-swirling night sky; I remember.
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.