In January 2013, 4 years ago, I went to my very first visit at the prison Sean was housed at, Calipatria. I hadn’t seen him since high school but we had been pen pals for the previous 5 years or so and had gotten to know each other again through our letters, which had grown increasingly more frequent. I felt something when I saw him. We both did. He was in a serious situation and I knew that it could be a long time before he would get out. I fought off my feelings for him for a very long time because of that, but I also had no idea if a relationship of that nature could be enough to feel fulfilled or withstand the test of time. Neither of us had any idea how much 4 years could change us and how much would happen since that first visit.
I wrote about meeting Sean again and expressed myself with the following words:
OUR FIRST VISIT
We are the minorities, sitting in regular sized chairs around low tables, sunken to knee cap height. I feel hunched. The dry air presses down on me. Harsh sunshine beats down through the open door and wide windows. Bright.
“What happens if you go out that door?” I ask
“You get shot”
He smiles. A row of perfect teeth. They must have very good dentists here. A painted red line marks the floor, the no-go zone. The red line tells the inmates where not to go. I place his food in the microwave for him, serve him waitress style. “Here, sir, is your spork.”
Behind it is the silent wish that there was more I could do for him. Hold him, protect him, love him. Those kids of words do not exist in this colorless place. He stares at me. We play Scrabble, it makes me feel dumb. When visit hours are over I leave reluctantly.
There is life beyond those walls, can you see it?
Bold and daring daffodils bright in the February cold
Frost skating across the roof, glistening wildly
A baby’s rosy cheeks, wide open milk tooth grin
I will you to see this, take a picture by blinking
The slender body of a cat slinking along a window’s ledge
City smoke carried by a current
This is my world, now show me yours
I’m not afraid
my secrets, my scars- there are no words- we’re not allowed them- there’s only longing- and smiles- his secrets, his scars- I press my finger to his lips- hush- we don’t need words- to survive
last night in my dream
you were there
hunkered down in a dark tunnel
reluctant to come out
so I came to you
“it’s me” I said
you whispered things
in my ear
lay my head on you
until it was time to go
we kissed quickly
a meeting of shy lips
they pulled you from me
I watched until you were
written in 2013 by Emelia