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A chain link fence and barbed wire against a cloudy sky
Photo by Mikdam on Depositphotos

Today I seen
something I can't talk about.

Captive in a world where violence
demands silence,

and the passive participation in the damnation
of your humanity.

Peculiar to feel the shift
as you gradually petrify.

Today I seen
something that involved blood

and dust,
accompanied by chain-link rust.

pooling life,
pain

and strife.
Today I seen

something that'd make a mother cry,
make a sister wonder why.

Something that makes me wonder too,
about life, death and experience.

About what it would be like to murder too.
Today I seen

something that visits in my sleep,
tugs at my conscience,

leveraging the weight of the secrets I keep.
Sometimes my soul weeps

and I smother it with rage.
Today they seen

me continue the cycle.
After you learn the rules,

it's only a matter of time
until you play.

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.

Rahja Rose is a poet incarcerated in Arizona. They are using a pseudonym.