Aug 252011
 

The white, hard, plastic bench-- 
The locked door and chicken-wire window-- 
The rusted drain, the vaguely urinous steel toilet-- 
The sink, carved from carbolic soap-- the freezing hiss
Of water to numb a face of tears.
No mirror here to reflect the eye.

Stasis, while the world rolls by
Ten yards from the barrack's escape hatch. . . . 
There, in the night, light, liberty,
Macadam and horns, cars shouldered together
In their hurry and happiness,
Loud as immigrants ganging a gangplank.

Here, just stocking feet that point to Hell,
Wadded TP to grind into each eye,
A shiver assuring you you still exist-- 
Bare as a smashed bulb's electric wire-- 
Glowing all exposed now under null fluorescents.
Grey-cuffed hands unlatch me, lift me, find my shoes.

My time is done.  I shuffle forward.


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