- Medium Security Prison
The orange jumpsuit works to make us all the same, but I’ve always viewed myself as lesser than those around me. Next door,
Alisha stuck her man with a ten-inch blade when she heard he’d played blackjack with their savings. Maybe what I did isn’t
so bad, but as it’s mine, it feels worse. The morning sun casts a shadow of bars across our faces. In some ways, life is easier
here. Our choices, gone — but it’s hard to decide, to choose to be loving day by day, step by step. I work the laundry, where it’s good
and hot, folding sheets like old dreams into small, ignorable piles. I have too much time, but recalling wrongs serves to deter.
Those outside regret all day, without the small release punishment brings. The smell of bleach is persuasive, but a lie. Nothing ever comes
completely clean. That’s what binds us: recognizing in each other the dirt, so we’ll keep trying to scrub out our own. [End Page 20]
Liz Robbins is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Flagler College. She is the author of Freaked (2015); Play Button (2012); Girls Turned Like Dials (2012); and Hope, as the World Is a Scorpion Fish (2007).