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A dim light illuminates the floor of an empty room
Photo by Anja Bauermann on Unsplash

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,
anticipating,
expecting.
Nothing yet.

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. Global Forum Online has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Lamarr Little is a writer, artist, designer, leather craftsman, poet and sculptor, and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in social studies. He is incarcerated in New York.