Prison Radio
Christian Weaver

The next poem is called “Life.”

A skull on a stick, or a corpse in a cage, or a chest of old sweaters and bones, a convict so old, he forgets why he’s here, so he calls it the riddle for days.

He raises his fork with mechanical hands, and his mandibles grind like a horse. His eyes are as blue as a sky full of clouds and as moist as a watery grave. His neutral low falls through a hole in his mouth and his splatters unseen down the shirt.

I watch him for months. He’s as quiet as death ‘till I gather the courage to ask.

He’s 60 plus three preternaturally aged, and he once had a kid by a girl. Can’t think of his name, can’t remember her name. Ain’t for sure if it’s actually his. “This greasy old food’s going to kill me one day, gonna to die in the next year or two.”

He states a mere fact without pathos or wit. And I see that he’s perfectly sane. But hey, at least the son of a bitch didn’t get the death penalty like he deserved.