the sun there wasn’t round but broken up into squares of light and he

pressed his forehead to its reflection on that sun-grid floor

until an earthen brown sun the color of soil was born

between the arcs of his shaggy brows, like a child’s drawing of the sunrise between two hills


his face made its own migration out of there

the pouches under his eyes swollen saddlebags, broken nose

flattened into a wide tepee


he fled to where the sun was a full coin

and shelter was the flap of dry wind through a tent

dust colored manta ray

pulling against the ropes pinning it down, sail

with the earth for a ship


now he’s carried himself here over

enfolding waves and outstretched hands

he returns with every new sun

he teaches us the geography of concrete cells

the lumps in his grey wall that became cliffs and

the skeletal birds in the flaking ceiling that left their droppings on his forehead every dawn


he witnessed the eclipse of six in that box

and his world turned rosy, the petal pink of a young girl’s room,

and it wasn’t only the prisoners looking out—it was the guards too,

and they were shielding their all seeing eyes,

and the sun wasn’t round then

even for them

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