Lancaster State Prison, California


I take a breath,
it’s mine,
I need it.
Then the world
takes it back.
I don’t know
how to feel
about the loss,
so I hold
the next breath
and wait,
knowing the world
would have me die
rather than relinquish
one mouthful of its air,
and I wonder,
should I die,
could I somehow
keep the mouthful
of air,
thereby finally
some small
besides the obvious
of my escape?