• Flux Magazine

"no-contact visits" by Tyler Zeanah

i’m at war with a society at war with drugs, built on the pride of perpetuating the destruction of a young man’s flowering mind who just so happens to not appear as white as the badge may like; labeling him a criminal at every turn, every case dismissable with non-violent offenses and the judge won’t even look him in the face when he’s stacked em’ up to sentence him; pounded the gavel on his life, slapping on more years as if he isn’t a human being with complex ambitions and fears; multi-dimensional heart rendered invisible underneath the metal cuffs where he begins and ends, summed up as the substance he uses; a sharp ringing in my ears i realize rehabilitation isn’t an option for my brother here; where’s the consideration for the substance of his soul? before you take away all the windows, all his light; tasting my tears, this. is. our. justice. system. the judge orders “criminal” before “justice” again and again into a young man’s subliminal; it’s over-saturated with every room’s suspicious eyes as accusations and future employers dismissing faces when the background check comes through and he failed it with the reputation you gave him

his incarceration has us waitin’ to be whole again; to have some control again in our lives when progression isn’t present if you’ve been behind bars; a skewed system scars him, underestimated potential postmarked on him: poverty ridden. but momma and i just wish he was here, wish we could hug him after our no-contact visits

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