Prison of the Mind
sometimes when listening to music,
escaping into my own head, back
there, terrified, wondering
if my next day will be my last,
talking to the fellow patients,
playing cards until someone,
asks me a question, and I snap
out of it. I'm in a car on the way
to a poetry slam in another city,
year and a half removed from
my time inside the hospital.
Sometimes, I'm not convinced
that I'm here until I'm doing
something I couldn't be in
there, like taking care of my cat
or attending poetry readings.
Sometimes, I think I'm still stuck
in the prison of the mind, going
back inside, it's just, matter of time
until I'm snapped out of it, by living
in the now, not in my past, not in
reliving moments of the past.
Having escaped, I put my headphones
back on my head, listening to music
Deonte Osayande is a writer from Detroit, MI. His nonfiction and poetry have been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology, and the Pushcart Prize. He has represented Detroit at four National Poetry Slam competitions. He's currently a professor of English at Wayne County Community College. His books include Class (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2017) and Circus (Brick Mantle Books, 2018). He also managed the Rustbelt Midwest Regional Poetry Slam and Festival for 2014 and 2018.