If I don’t walk I’ll be pushed,
Dragged, forced, restrained.
So I go. Slam. Click.
Familiar as my nightly drill
Of stripping my layers of scrubs
Right down to the boxers
That some poor slob left stained.
Men’s underwear. What a joke.
Fold the scrubs nice and neat - sorry excuse for a pillow.
Another night in the hole begins.
Another night of staring up at my
Piss-yellow sky, dotted with gray
Stars of rot and mold, lit up by a
Flickering fluorescent moon emitting
A droning buzzing that feeds the numbness in my brain.
The numbness I cannot escape.
Who could sleep with this incessant buzzing?
Like a freaking fly on the wall,
But at least if it were a fly I could squash it dead.
Even through squeezed eyes I see the flickering.
Flickering blue and red now.
Fuzzy flashbacks of a life I barely remember.
I saw the lights just before
They placed the cold metal on my wrists
That still have bruises and cuts.
Skin and bones I am,
I almost wriggled out until the jerks wised up.
Five against one.
How’s that for fair play?
That’s the how, but what’s the why?
How many seconds, minutes, hours,
days, weeks, months of
Counting bricks on the wall.
All the same except the one with the vent.
The vent that once fed my loneliness.
The first time the door slammed behind me
Sickness bubbled up inside me
And I heard her tiny voice echo:
"Hey, sister. What ‘up?"
A friend she became, if one could have a friend in here.
She’s no friend to have on the streets.
Murder, she says.
Something about a brother, a father, a boyfriend
I can’t remember, but
You’d never know it if you saw in her eyes.
Wide, blue, innocent.
Where are those blue eyes and that tiny voice now?
I remember her name, but not mine.
Is mine one of these on the wall?
Or is it all the poor saps who’ve come before me?
Where are they now?
They escaped this hollow arm of hell, but
They could’ve at least left me secrets on how.
All they’ve left are obscene nuggets of putrid green rot
Drying and crusting on the walls.
Some with a tinge of red, like Christmas.
I dig in and add my own to the mix.
“I was here,” it says, loudly and clearly.
Loudly and clearly comes a pounding on the door.
The harsh voice shouting:
"Get up, scum!"
Click. The door is unlocked,
But another lock awaits.
I stand once more: monotony awaits.
Catch my reflection in my rectangular window
On my unlocked door
Eyes - wide, blue, innocent - stare back at me
“Someday,” they say.