The Captive


No need for prison walls,
Absent remain the fences, barbed wire, or chains.
This prison that spreads out before me,
A thousand miles of earth, rivers cut through like veins.
Muddy gulf waters below,
Dead towns, blank faces, a land and people stripped bare.
No matter how familiar, a foreigner I remain,
My homesickness destroys my heart, tear by shredding tear.

Despite those whom I've come to treasure,
They are not enough to root my mountain heart.
Though desperate pleas and tears of pain,
Shamed, in invisible shackles, I am forbidden to depart.
Raging inside my captivity,
My beastly side, snarl, heave, lash out and claw.
Entirely wasted, energy expended,
A tornado alley house, built of straw.

Each passing season, atrophy,
Dimming down, darkening, one dream at a time.
Swells of madness between darkness and fog,
Real life untouchable, meanwhile, I pantomime.
The waters I drown in are deep,
Disgustingly warm, pitch black, ripple free.
My eyes widen with revelation,
The gatekeeper, the captive, one and the same.me.

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