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A prison guard tower surrounded by razor wire
Photo by OskariVara on iStock

Every time I exit this building,
barbed wire presents itself throughout

every length of space.
Corrections officers with Mini-14 assault rifles

surround me in six different windows and towers —
that’s six different shots from six different angles.

Transforms a corrections officer into a murderer instantly.
A bare minimum of area is what I can roam,

from point A to point B and back.
The brief adventure is far from fresh air.

Two minutes across this field destroy
the freshness of my clothes — a foul aroma

from the recreational yard’s contaminated soil.
As I prepare to enter this cage again,

red signs on the walls inform me
there’s no warning shots at all.

It feels like self-inflicted earthquakes;
I’m on the brink of death.

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.

E.D.H. is a poet who was raised in Compton in Los Angeles. He is currently incarcerated in California. He has asked to be published under his pen name.