NaPoWriMo Challenge, Day 26: “write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.”
Seventy-two steps down Hall B,
to mute doors with blank-stare windows.
Don’t touch the handles. Fingers would
scorch to ash. Or freeze so hard they’d shatter.
Eyes recoil from chlorine-glazed floor.
Salt water soothes.
Slick. Sticky. Squeaky rubber heels,
but no one ever trips
over absent laces.
Turn around at the door.
Seventy-two steps back. Always the same distance,
though the walls expand and deflate in
At forty steps back he’s there.
You feel him like a sweat-soaked wall.
The door at forty is no blank stare.
The darkened window rages in razor-orange furnace blasts.
Involuntary flinch. Voluntary cringe.
Cower to the far wall
as you pass by.
He feels you, too,
like a limp, soiled napkin.
He wants to crush you with his fury, until
your soul oozes out and seeps under
his cell door.
He screams. He flings insults and curses
like hot excrement at the walls. At you.
The orderlies will come soon,
syringe locked and loaded.
At the station, turn right.
Fifty-five steps down Hall A.