…the love for the written word and the sun-torn highways flush with mountains and small stations, a cup of hot coffee next to my typewriter, the feeling of life warm down my arms, is no longer real to me. It’s a grainy film, a mirror I use for my own self-image, and it keeps me going in here. It keeps my blood warm in a sea of cold, controlled environment, a place where autonomy and expression are simply not possible on an outward plane. A place where your own death is welcomed hungrily, because it would be a diversion from the horrible nothing. My life in here is a new, sick dream. I exist by minutes in this cell, by dark hours of uniform garbage. It’s pushing 9:30 p.m. and we’re celled in for the night. I sit and pencil this to you, Helena, my muse, for lack of a definitive word, because I need you here next to me, a friendly face to listen without words. Know that I write this with a gun to my head, while every 15 minutes the hacks walk by and make their count, while the lights of the cities across the States are lit and waiting for spring to burn off to summer. I’ll start from the phone call now, and will soon revert to form, because I need to make this letter to you as clear as I can, but bear with me for a chapter, Helena. After all, you taught me how to write, how to sit and be water, bone, blood, and fist while the words fire from chest to arms. Yet what I wouldn’t give to feel my bare feet in the grass, my hands upon warm dirt. I sit in this concrete box freezing. The pencil moves across the page while outside my shadow looks around for its body.