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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Christine Taylor


A fly crawls up the screen bolted over slatted windows, and I wonder how it got into the cage. The inmates are taking their final exam for English 2, and there isn’t much for me to do now except watch and wait. So I notice little shit that doesn’t matter, or maybe it does matter, and I’ve just gotten used to it. Like I’ve grown used to seeing officers in cages, women in cages. Like I’ve grown used to the routine: handing over car keys and driver’s license, spreading arms and legs for the frisk, riding in the back of the van. Like I’ve grown used to being in the cage. To the suffocating heat and the racket of the fans. Some say they deserve this, the metal bars & the cinder block & the unholy echo that tumbles down hallways. And just recently, our president has ordered children torn from their families at the border, detained behind walls made of silver fencing. Cages. Because that’s what happens when you break the law. That’s what you deserve. I wonder how long it will take for me to get used to that too. . . . The fly is still crawling up the screen, and I swear any minute now the sky’s gonna crack wide open.

heat wave rolling into rain