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An upside-down hourglass
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

If life rewinded through time
In reverse through my eyes…
Hair un-grays as I un-age
From 18 years spent in cage
Heart unbreaks as I learn Shelly won’t be dead
Her heart un-attacks and her fever cools on her forehead
Handcuffs come off and gunshots un-shot
Blood goes back into wounds
Screams un-scream
And tears roll up cheeks
Fear un-felt, pain un-inflicted
Shots un-heard, safety un-stolen from community
I walk backwards to my car and reverse up the block
Turn left instead of right
And go on with Shelly to live a happy life!
Dreams un-die, nightmares un-had and sleepless nights given back
Youngsters un-emboldened, hood stories un-told
Gangs un-grow, youngsters grow up to build homes!
Six life sentences go back to the state
Instead of getting life
Life I create
Six kids with my babe!
Three million dollars go back to the state for my cage
Instead it is invested in parks for kids to play
I go to school and pay taxes
Life is great!

If life were only this simple, where we could take back harm or hurt we caused to others and our loved ones who passed could come back. I hurt people when I was young and I regret it. It was the worst thing I ever did. I shot two people  and, thank God, they survived.  My fiancé Shelly was with me and later, after the trial, we split. She passed away from a heart attack at 26. I’ve been in prison over 6,000 days and as of today August 2, 2020, I’m still sentenced to die here. 

If you are someone who carries a gun for any reason please, don’t! Carrying means that it’s an option for you to use it on the other person. I did that. and I’ve regretted it ever since. My dad used to give me advice and I would tell him: “Let me learn on my own!” But some mistakes you can’t come back from.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Jessie Milo is a writer, artist and poet incarcerated in California. He is a volunteer for and an advocate for mental health.