Jimmy Santiago Baca
The Day Brushes It's Curtains Aside
to a dark stage.
I lie there awake in my prison bunk,
in the eye-catching silence
of prison night.
I study the moon out my grilled window.
I figure this and that,
not out, just figure, figuring more,
the inner I go, through illimitable tunnels,
roaring great, myself back back back.
I lie still, listening to water drops
clink and pap pap pap
in the shower stall next to my cell.
In that airy place we call the heart,
I move like a magician
in the colorful stage lights of my moods,
my bright dreams, and blue light
circles a tear on my cheek, and lips with her name.
>From flowers in my hands
her face appears. In cards
she is the queen. These are tricks
and I am the magician.
Tomorrow morning I will crawl out of bed
knowing I cannot escape the chains
they've wrapped around me.
I will crawl out of bed tomorrow,
as though I had stepped out of a box
on stage. It was no illusion,
when the sword plunged into the box,
I smiled at the crowd,
as it went deeper and deeper into my heart.
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