Sunday, February 19, 2017

Super De-Luxe Extra Special Top Drawer Platinum

The flag could have been cardboard for all its stiffness, flat-out in the wind. A sign says "State Prison" and "Federal Prison" with arrows pointing up and left. The car takes another hit from a fifty-mile-an-hour gust and requires a correction to stay straight on the slash of asphalt heading toward the snow covered Santa Rita mountains due south. Another sign announces a shooting range to the right. I see the towers of the penitentiary rise above a low ridge. A red tail hawk shoots past before swooping up to perch on a high-tension power pole. The lines and towers run away to vanishing points ahead and behind. The interstate, with its heavy, dense flow of goods and desires shrinks in the mirror. Pavement ends at the state prison and police training track. A sign directs volunteers to park in front of the main gate to the high security units. I am going to a "four yard," the highest level of security at the complex. The men in the workshop don't get much free time out of their cells. They complain about the interruptions of their cellies taking a piss when they are trying to read, write, or just enjoy a snack made on their hot plate. Ravens do tricks in the gusts, rolling, diving, stalling. A fighter jet cuts an incision across the folds of the Catalina mountains. My ID dances on its lanyard as I cross to the checkpoint. My pants press against my thighs and flap in the wind. I lean into it. Rain feels like spit in my face. No matter. I got 'em, the words that is. They are good ones, top notch. I picked them fresh this morning. Can't wait to serve them up in the programs room, the one with the lights off just because it feels right, the dim light from the windows enough for the work we're up to.

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