Kevin Brown has published two short story collections, Death Roll and Ink On Wood, and has had Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry published in over 200 Literary Journals, Magazines and Anthologies. He won numerous writing competitions and was nominated for multiple prizes and awards, including three Pushcart Prizes.
is more than this, than a slammed gate that locks you in, than walls and mesh-wire windows, watered down milk served with watered down meals, than same colored uniforms on different colored inmates, than bodies herded in stencilized existence, cuffed chaos and caged rage, knowing when to stand and stand down, than routine branded into mind and muscle, and always thinking in number scales— 6’x8’, 3 meals a day, 60 minutes yard time every 24 hours, names spelled with 8 digits stamped across backs, 4¢/hr, $31.51 in savings, 4 years, 48 months, 298 weeks, 1,460 days. It’s more than fear, loneliness, anger and regret, embarrassment and boredom, disbelief and acceptance, than receiving care packages of photos, cards and letters, Dora pictures colored outside the lines and the best O’Keefe coffee ever drank, than kid names over hearts inked with soot and shampoo, than watching your son grow up and away, seeing your little girl for the first time each time, every Sunday from 1-3, missing dance recitals, graduations, wedding anniversaries that will one day be just another date scratched off on a wall, than sleepless nights when you realize this is your life, and nights of deep sleep when you realize this is your life, it’s more than checkers, poker, reading paperbacks and writing letters to anyone anywhere else, mopping for minimal wage, drinking liquor fermented in toilets made from fruit skins Christmas Eve, toasting friends bound by address through sentence, than fights won, fights lost, solitary confinement, gangs, the barter system, sex or no sex, religion or no religion, heads raised, heads dropped, heads watching the shackled hands of the clock chip 34,944 hours away, to where the gate slams and locks you out, where outstretched arms touch nothing touching back. Prison was that and more, but not much. for #34576051 **first published in Gargoyle, 2015**