Somewhere, a Poet Uses Prison as a Metaphor

L. Reeman

a magazine offers me publication and also publishes a work of fiction depicting solitary confinement: metaphors for an uninspired life lied: and so another poet uses prison as a metaphor for anxiety: or a metaphor for institutionalized intervention: but I've been to the psych ward: and I've been to jail: and nothing is a metaphor for prison: except prison: by which I mean: the only thing I am scared of now: is going back: and so somewhere, a poet tells another poet they deserved to be arrested: and the first poet is described in an interview as "radical": and the second poet vomits when cops come into their job: and the second poet's boss asks them if it's like a PTSD thing: and I am watching myself being pulled over on a cop's body cam: and the jail warden asks me why he knows my name: and I say maybe from my poetry: and the cop sneers and tells me I look familiar: and I say yeah like a PTSD thing: by which I mean: somewhere, two cops stand in a room saying my name back and forth to each other without pausing: until their throats are on fire: until I'm reduced to garble: and somewhere, a poet uses their name disappearing into the raw throats of the system as a metaphor: for the system: and its rawness: and the way it swallows: do you get it: the metaphor: of a poet being praised: for this lazy production: for my breath botched at the first shitty, sticky sentence: for a magazine choosing to glamorize this: by which I mean my life: by which I mean my name