He looks up-
At the hard slab of tarnished steel and the scattered toothpaste stains upon it.
Some of which he thinks, resemble letters.
And so he sometimes tries to connect them and spell out words.
In futile attempts to decrypt some secret code-
Futile, is exactly right he decides, then looks away.
Down past his toes.
At the box that contains one hundred and fifty feet of hose.
Then at the other box that contains a fire extinguisher.
Then, to the bars that keep him securely away from both
Beyond the bars,
The concert walls and exposed conduits of gas lines and pipes,
Tangled wads of razor wire, and apple cores tossed carelessly about,
And every kind of refuse-
And once in a while, a man with a gun strolls silently along the catwalk.
FUCK YOU GUNNER! Cry out the confined,
And a disdainful glare solidifies reciprocation.
A most discourage view-
If not for the tall cathedral style windows and the brilliant morning light
That they allow to gloriously illuminate his cell-
And stretch out the bars,
And paint them all black upon the wall,
Oh if these walls could only talk,-
I think they’d cry instead.
By Jose “Chip” Avila