Author:Perez, Johnny
Position:Special Issue: The Geography of Confinement - Poem

Would you believe me if I told you, That I was arrested two days after my first born... was born? Thirteen years later I'm told that I served my time. But the truth is... I'm surrounded by an visible fence See, my life hasn't been the same since... I was sentenced... Incarceration's collateral consequence. Con Sequence Con as in "Convict" As in convict him, and then evict him, and soon he too... will feel like the victim... Oh Wait, I wasn't supposed to go there right? I mean, there was a time when I fantasized that my release would be televised That it would be screened on the screens of Times Square, or anywhere else for that matter That it would come to you from the lips of Barbara Walters In between commercials of five-dollar Foot longs and Black Man Reelections But it didn't quite happen that way And after 13 years of living inside of a human cage all I had was $34.65 A Pocket... full of confidence, A picture of my little girl's pretty brown eyes, And memories that till this day, I pray to god to help me forget. Memories of sounds I hope I never have to hear again. Like the sound of eternal silence... SHHHHHHHHH..... When you are placed inside of a Space the same size as your arms outstretched. Like the sounds of endless cries from the batons of the same people that were sworn to protect you. The same people who love to point their fingers, but can't seem to pull their thumbs. And I'm sorry, but I refuse to apologize if my confidence is your insecurity. I refuse to ask the elephant in the room to move its feet so that you can walk by. I refuse to modify, alter, water-down, remodel, or otherwise Revise the man I have become, not because of prison, but despite Prison And in spite of what you say, Today, Mass incarceration... stems from a larger system of racist oppression, intentionally created to KILL ME, and KILL people who look like me, talk like... have the same Skin Color as me... Oh Wait, I wasn't supposed to go there neither, was I? Well guess what? It's real easy for you to judge the reaction to my poverty and oppression, From the seat and comfort of your own privilege. And I confess to breaking the law, but would you believe me Would you believe me If I told...

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