The first time I went to jail.The first time I went to jail9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The first time
I went to jail, I remember waiting
I worked in the laundry,
stirring orange jumpsuits
and white sheets
in cauldrons. The colors of a
I read the bible
in the library and memorized
the first three words of
a black man from St. Louis,
traded me a carton of cigarettes
to read a letter from his daughter,
I made up the words so
he would never know
how little she cared that he was dying
a young man. How little she knew at all.
Jack and I always sat in the first pew
at Chapel. I'm not a Christian, or anything,
but it's nice when
somebody else speaks about the goodness of
and they can still believe it,
even in a place like this.
Jack held my hand
when we lit our candles.
He said each flame was like a birthday wish
I said that I didn't think that was quite how it worked
and later that night, he hanged himself from the top bunk.
I didn't really like him that much,
but it got me out of bathr