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Jail Rounds

Hate on and love through unrepining hours

— W. B. Yeats —

Walk the dim light
peer into the dark
dread the hanged man
or the passionate
bleats
and squeaking flesh

Here all are innocent
here lie the sentenced pure
all innocent
these sleeping angry men
with the blue tattoos
and greasy hair

Tylenol for the sleepless alky
with a body like a jail
corroded
stained
rusted at the joints
smelling like a toilet

They have no sun
nor moon
or honest rest
they sleep away the light
pace away the night
prize smallest change

Sensibilities flake away here
slough off
are forgotten
like last night’s screams
from a drunken woman
stricken in the Tank

During the day
underwear bleaches in buckets
minds blanch with the boredom
sisters are traded freely
on an exchange
of petty vice

Life hangs out here
base and sly.
work is wanting
and while escape
is seldom the question
intrigue always is

Here is a backbay
of the race
here all is stale and wasting

If outside falcons freely gyre
here slack souls eddy
jailers round

Walk the dim light
peer into the dark
dread the hanged man

 

Jon Horton

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Jon Horton

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