The Drunk-Tank Blues
For Mike Seeber
If I could do it over, I would have run.
I should have decided: Plan B is run.
Always make grocery store security chase you.
Uncomfortable jewelry, and they drive you downtown.
It's a bulletproof taxi, and they drive you down town.
Am I worth this elaborate spending of taxes?
You're locked in a garage, then you're locked in a vestibule.
They read you some questions, then you're locked in a hall.
"Are you a leader, or a follower, or both?"
The drunk tank says "Detox"; the floor has blue tiles.
It's nothing but walls, and little blue tiles.
And it's always the temperature of a hopeless Autumn.
My cellmate looked like Ginsberg on the floor.
He slept like a fetus, with a toilet paper pillow.
His t-shirt had a slogan about surpassing your goals.
Drinkers had carved names and dates into the wall.
One had carved "1989" into the wall.
It was the saddest, shortest novel on Earth.
My other companion had a heavy accent.
He taught me to find a clock through the blinds.
The guards getting off the elevator was our television.
I was bailed out at 1 am.
They gave me my shoes back at 1am.
Ever since then I've noticed the bigness of the sky.
And I can't get over the absence of walls.
Nicholas Moore (2005)