There Are No Prisons

There Are No Prisons

By Bhaktin E., Delano CA

Dawn breaks stealthily outside my narrow vertical window

a dark turquoise betraying light; towards the horizon

Redundant orange prison lights sweep across the landscape

like luminous pearls cast asunder,

give the impression of a grandeur city;

Razor wire atop chain link fences and concrete walls,

and haunting abandoned guard towers-

down sourced by electric fences-

remind me it is not!

Even in my fourth decade,

The image resonates throughout my hard won inner equilibrium

with an underlying ugliness, a memory.

On cue, a bird flies overhead,

flapping, sailing majestically toward the horizon of light,

symbolic of my soul,

reminding me that I have ultimately overcome,

that I have escaped - myself.

The lights, the razors, the towers, were once me:

my eyes, my claws, my stature.

I was in a prison of the self,

my old habits betraying me, wedding me to misery,

my eyes refusing to see,

my claws clinging, refusing to let go of the old me.

But behind my soul,

the subject of fate, it’s amusement,

speaking the language of majestic flight, congratulatory

that I have prevailed over the most persistent foe:

that I have conquered me!

That there are no outer prisons,

only inner ones.

That all prisons are illusions.

That we can conquer the self, set ourselves free.

That we can soar forever and ever over the horizon,

if we so desire.