One would think thick bricks would mark clear boundaries
of being alone, that hard beds and clothes
not your own would hem you into line, sign
you’re on the inside while everyone else
is out, a billboard blaring, “Jail. Do not
enter unless you’re a loser.” But it’s
worse than that, not just for prisoners who get
the solo-cell. It’s living in a block
full of strangers. Maybe no one talks to
you. Maybe they raise sarcastic eyebrows:
“Are you serious? You’re pathetic, man.”
Maybe you retain your right to remain
silent because you can’t speak the language.
Think hard, now. Remember. Have you been there?
Copyright Dec. 27, 2012