Visiting hours at the Van Nuys jail.
I am another brown face
in a hallway of earth tone
bodies weighing like
heavy mud sliding towards the edge.
I find my place on the wall,
retrace our steps
workshops, interventions, conversations
led me here,
visiting you so we could strategize freedom
with a pane of glass between us.
“Sir please wait behind the yellow line until you’re called.”
in line beside another brown skinned man
his attention in twist,
eyes gripped by the steel mesh guarding
armed guards at the reception desk,
as he pinches his son,
trapping the little one
in the distracted play
of waiting for the trapped.
A mild detachment from the stale rhythm
of steal locks snapping visitors in their rooms.
Those little feet,
bracing an escape from his fathers gentle snare,
found leverage over a sugary spill
old enough to lose its stick.
It tells the story of the trapped,
bittered and trampled by feet
smearing its sweet away.
Stained by the timeless wait,
on either side of the yellow line.
Hoping, to be cleansed of this place.