from The Prison Poems of Kenneth Lay

The clothing they give me
Is ill fitting, of lighter color
Than that of my fellow inmates.

I look, at first, like a lifer
—Like I’m “good at this.”

My hardened comrades—
They know how soft I am.

If only a young photographer
Would take my photo for a school project,
Or the calendar of a humanitarian organization.

I would give her my grave face
With this clothing on,
And she would take the surface of me
For a grand truth.

My naïve female photog would not know
How little I really do know
Of this enclosed and enforced space,
This cruel world’s cactus suppository.

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2 thoughts on “from The Prison Poems of Kenneth Lay

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