"Prison Steam"


Each day has its beginning, dawn. Each day in prison for three decades I have a cup of black coffee. I have drank plain hot black coffee out of jars, bottles, bowls, cups, pans, lids, plastic containers, tin cans, and even plastic bags. It is a time of day a convict such as I looks across the coffee cup’s rim. Across that rim is such a divide. The brown liquid is many things. It is great lost seemed to me. It is love beside a lake. It is wishing to cross the river to see the green field beyond. With my face upclose to the rising steam, the heat can bring memories past, present and the future. Filling my lungs with the aroma can be as if the most pleasent thing on earth. It is, I, toward the back of the cell at a sqwat. Cup in hand staring at the steel door. It is, I, the human, not beast that has such a longing there, as an uplift curtain upon my brown eyes. It is, I, that have drank black cups of hot coffee at dawns sentenced upon my soul. Cup and I in cages of every smell. Filth. cold, hot, and screams across America’s dungeon’s. Coffee, coffee is all I need now at this very end of me. Or, maybe at the end of such this man’s nighmare….. This morning as dawn shook my eyes with an ease, my brown cup was on the steel table. The coffee already inside. The hot water already in wait from the old sink. So, the mixture, hot, the cup in my right hand, and my eyes across the cell. Then, I breathe. I inhale and exhale my soul I hear it scream and….. I swallow.

By: George Martorano