Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Payphone on the Catwalk

He’s a prison guard, give me credit
for that; I mean, there are women
who think fucking a serial killer
is a turn-on. And never mind where
I met him, this guy’s clean.

I can’t imagine what it’s like
to be locked up every day
without a weapon, in a place
where men won’t hesitate
to stick a homemade shiv
in your back, but no one ever has.
I’m fair, he says, whatever that
means, but it has kept him safe.

He gave me the number
to the payphone on the catwalk,
so it’s not like he’s surprised
when I call; well, maybe a little
when I describe what
we’ll do and how we’ll do it,
details I leave to your imagination.

I can hear shouting in the back-
ground, clanging steel. A lockdown?
Cells tossed? He’s gone.
Oh God, what if he’s lost his edge.
He might not get off for days;
but even dog-tired, he’ll be ready
for what he’s been promised.

© Nancy Scott

Pasquotank prison remains on lockdown

Nancy Scott, poet and short story writer, is author of ten books and also managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets in New Jersey, USA. She was in a relationshiip with a state prison guard for many years. Her latest book is Marriage by Fire.

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