The Singularity of Three Prisons

Struggle was not what Johnny called
lying on his bed for too many long hours
or walking through the unchanging cycle
of manliness and castration.
Struggle was the second-by-minute
day-by-week brutal discipline
of ignoring the bodies the voices
the clanging the coughing and being
somewhere else.

Because of his heart
Big John had to give up
his younger dream of
being a cop. What else
could he do with a degree
in criminal justice? The best
part of the job was leaving
it all in the rough hands
of his lifer guards and
sipping Jack over
paperwork.

John Jr didn’t miss
bankers hours.
Joys of this job
long shifts and a stick
responsibility a blur
of pulling aside this
or that one of the pitiful
little cunts for a bit
of kidney punching
and nose bleeding, ahh
that’s when you know
you really know something.

Years later they’d drink together
the three Johns as they were known
at the Stumble Inn grill and bar
not much else to do in a prison town
but stay out of the outdoors and gulp
Jack with the guys who had grown
tumors where most everybody else
had a conscience.

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About mrsorenson

all over the place
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