Collective Confinement


They are crammed in narrow cages
Like animals who bend raw against the bars,
And those who are homesick lie on the floor
Almost afraid of the sound of their voices.
They wither away and their blood grows slow,
Only a black stream of poison leaks from their mouths
Which searches for and etches into a neighbor’s open wound —
The prisoners are not well.
The prisoners are all sick.
They grow deaf and mute and blind,
They hate themselves because they are so miserably alone.
Because they sank into the chaos of ego,
Because great proximity makes the face of a friend raw and ugly,
Because everyone tramples over everyone to sit and eat and gloat.