Suza Lambert Bowser
Dwight Maximum Security Prison
February 18, 2013
Post prandial, we walk from the dining hall in two lines
wearing the deep yellow and royal maroon of Tibetan monks.
Razor wire slices crystalline blue into ice splinters of light,
and the prison grass glitters flawed diamonds.
The sun is winter weak, but the wind is strong enough to prick my skin.
I pivot on this compass point--awry--then, aligned
beneath a lopsided moon. Beyond the fence,
a gas station pulses red, white, and blue blinking
with an offhanded, unobtainable liberty:
Eighteen wheelers, SUV's, prison guards, coffee,
tobacco, cornucopeias of candy, sour weiners, beer farmers,
factory workers, toothless midwesterners...and the beast goes on.
For one brief chilly moment, my vision is a spherical and clear
as the shimmering chain link that contains me.
I don't want to be be in this prison, but I don't want to be
in that convenience mart either.
An unseen train plays jazz--spotless and concise...
the C major 7th cleaves the air and reorganizes my brain.