by Anna Marie Anastasi

I knew someone that went to prison
He was just an acquaintance
But I had a picture of him in my mind
Crying and turning red
While saying some words
At a dead friend’s memorial
When he went to prison
I wrote him a letter
Because I felt bad
Because I remembered seeing him
Crying and red
Soft and transparent
Like rice paper and milk
Crumpling and curdling in front of me
His letters were so positive
He wanted to be a welder
And have a garden
One day, he innocently gave my address to another inmate
Who claimed he knew me
And wrote me a letter
That sent out feelers and whispered through my hair
As I shuddered in the quiet empty 
Of my once private room
Crying and red
My penpal could tell
And after that
He stopped writing to me
I think because he knew
Because he could tell
Something pent up was cutting through me
And into him