The Cage

My arms are just long enough,
My fingers stretch as I reach,
The metal of my cell numbs my pressed skin

My memories are a life of building this cell
With the leash and chain and rope of “you can’t do that”

There’s a chair beside a table with cuffs
For the waterboarding of others’ dementia.
I must sit and watch while they drown

Kindness is a cell key made of formless ether
A stranger outside must turn the key, let in the sun.
The warmth will heat my soul, help it grow
Until the key holder goes away
and they always go away

False hate
Presses down
Presses in
Building walls I cannot crush.
The hate hurts the innocent
And it kills time

But not all time
And not the gravity pulling me through time.
Gravity shrinks my relevance
As young warriors take up roles I covet –
I remember I used to matter

So I reach through the bars
To touch the page with words.
I write, I write, I write
as I dream of
A world of kindness
A universe of hope
An eternity of light

This cell cannot stop me from building All.
The bars cannot hold my dreams.
My prison will have a door I control.


Biographers will define this as my “emo goth teenager” period (never too late for repeated puberty). I debated whether to post it at all, yet here it is. The lack of structure is the randomness of life, and the end is an homage to writing, the literary art that has given me strength to face past and current struggles. It’s not great poetry, but it’s personal and it’s mine. I will not be held back.

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