Prison Stories

by Sami Bennett

a poem

I found you, you glistening
jewel of story, accidentally
while I was clearing away a path
in this dark prison with my pen
nothing to sense but the gray
silence and the echoing
darkness that embraces me. I write to free
the observer inside of me
that wants to go out on an African safari
or eat Italian-spiced salami
or watch that violent movie
everyone seemed to like.

I’m wary. Emptiness
can suck away your consciousness,
says my empty prison walls.
I stop listening and focus on telling my
observing mind my story. I explore
the hidden depths of my memory
conversations I had, or I wish I had,
or that I regret, with loved ones and hated
ones and ones I never really
noticed until now. This is the time
for attention to intricacies, to the small
characters that played a part in my life, now
that I am off stage mumbling
lines to myself, hoping
someday I will say them on stage
without falter