Or. This Malus Thing Never To Be Confused With Justice

By Randall Horton

nothing symbolic. okay. dark is dark—
cage is cage. hunted & hunter are both

in the literal. make believe & what ifs
do not exist: a lie. nothing cryptic here.

okay. rape is rape. prey must pray. no
minute in the future safe from quiet

insertions of a shank in masking tape.
okay. nothing here infinite: only time

is constant to the merciful & merciless—
there are no allegories to hide behind.

he slit his wrists means he slit his f*ckin wrists

okay? there is a cell with one window
just before day. dawn’s early demise

magnifies a dull metal toilet. the cool
water cooling two can sodas. each

wall a slab of soft gray cinderblock, no
posters featuring eroticized women

with an exclusive in black tail. okay.
the wall that slits the light does not

reveal nothing new, ever. the exposé
the changing same: always a holding.

one window offers a gateway. my face
pressed against the window & time

rules this empire. okay. the mind held
hostage by time. mind & body

conjoined twins. the other wall holds
a frame. the frame holds a metal door

to contain utter disbelief. of the visible:
walls are gray not like summer

but darker—yes. there is darkness. okay—

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