Knowing I Speak of You in Heaven
By Michael Tyler
And the slot opens and it’s a struggle to remember whether its night or day as the fluorescent light blinks and the food fed through the slot taunts as to whether it is Breakfast or Supper.
And the air fogs as I exhale, as I wrap myself in my blanket and lie on the floor to think, or better yet to avoid thought altogether. I won’t lie on my mattress until I’m exhausted as stories are told that those who never leave their bed are the first to lose it, it’s a sign you’ve given up the fight and that’s all that’s needed for your mind to betray and turn to foe, or fiend at best.
Someone I had a beef with told another that I was dangerous, and that was all it took for me to be sent and yet I recall with pleasure that I did not drag my feet or cry out and yet it wasn’t until much later that I realized this was more important than I would ever imagine.
I’ve lost a fuck ton of weight and yet whenever it’s my hour in the cage on the roof I jog. My legs are my soul and so I run from one end of the cage to another and soak in the sweat while I can. This memory will serve me well over the next twenty three hours.
I am one of ten and we’re not allowed to talk and if you get caught fishing its ‘infraction’ and ‘thirty days’.
The camera covers all and so while I piss and shit and sigh and shower I know that other’s eyes are on me, always.
I’ve counted every crack in the wall and memorized every streak in the ceiling. The mind can serve you or you can serve your mind, and so I have spent hours with friends and family over drinks accompanied by good hearted jesting and yet each time I decide to recall the faces blur and personalities splinter.
And while I am forever exhausted sleep is most elusive, as those who have crossed over shriek at the guards, at their enemies, at God, at the air itself. I have been taught that a man’s cry is often simple expression they exist, they live, they struggle, they matter.
I scream and I wail and I hurl myself at the door until I’m lying on my back kicking, kicking, kicking and the food latch opens and ‘infraction, thirty days’ and yet I cannot stop my legs from kicking.