april 31st

every year on April 31st we
count our blessings,
remember prison promises,
think back to stolen days –
holidays they’ve taken from us,
urges reawakened
by keeping pressing matters
to a close and cutting shrink,
torn page on idle calendar
not to be turned over,
not to be replaced by chalk
markings on a breaking wall,
or the courage to make statements such
as lying on this rail,
devising flawed escape plans.

this is not
your house to storm into,
your sin to penitence –
the month is too far gone,
too exhausted to be fooled
into an honest gratitude.


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