Author Archives: 5to20

Strike

Mr. Kitchen, not even twelve hours into the hunger strike, was the first to cave and accept the proffered brown bag. Almost immediately officers whisked him away, bologna sandwich in hand, to the SHU, where he’d be safe from retribution … Continue reading

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The Short-timer: Sexual Assault Goes Ignored.

I heard a cry, injured and outraged, a cry so loud that in the profound silence that followed I could sense by its echo the precise size and shape of the darkened dorm room, the heights of its ceilings, the … Continue reading

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The Weight Pile

The cook is getting fat. The baker too. The advantage to working in the Officers’ Mess, what makes it the most coveted work detail on the compound, is its offer of unlimited food. The cook, the baker, and I are … Continue reading

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Tripping

A young man is in the bathroom tripping on K2, this man, this kid really, who was high not two days ago and observed wiping his ass with his dirty sock. He lies now on the bathroom floor, his body … Continue reading

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Eclipse

The one o’clock controlled movement is called at quarter till. Across the compound officers everywhere rising at once from their chairs, keys jangling, locks turning. We step out of the chow hall, the cook, the baker, and I, into a … Continue reading

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Love Bubba

Nu, I got approval on my end to write you directly. So hopefully this letter finds you easily. There’s no doubt I will better relate to you once we’re both out of prison. I just ripped up a two-page rant … Continue reading

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Fog

After weeks of unseasonably warm weather—evenings in which one could walk the track in only his shorts and tank top—a cold front blows in overnight bringing with it a fog so tenacious not even the West Texas wind can drive … Continue reading

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