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Texas Dept of Criminal Justice ID: 02290142
Crime: Aggravated Assault of a Child.
Sentence: 7000 years.

Age 41

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, and the hum and the buzz and the blue flicker of the fluorescent tubes that twitch and wink for decades like highway stripes, flashing the marked path with a tease of not quite light to burn without ceasing night and non-night, projecting on my closed eyes a map of blinking veins, so that, if I focused near enough, I’d consider the vision of my own pulse, kept steady by my unsleeping lizard brain, yet the what-is-man-that-thou-art-mindful-of-him part of me is up, which means I lean on the cell door attempting to name each noise on the block: wall taps, snores, roaches crunching beneath my feet, bosses ascending and descending the metal grate stairs, pacing the catwalk displaying the soles of their boots as they pass over, and beyond them the impenetrable ceiling, and below me the inviolable floor, and if somehow I broke free, past these guards, through these walls, I’d be standing in the concrete yard under the sealed vault of floodlights, the mouth of a babe testifying against me.

Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

Seth Wieck

Seth Wieck's stories, poetry, and essays can be found in Narrative Magazine, The Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas, and the Broad River Review, where he won the Ron Rash Award in Fiction. He lives in Amarillo with his wife and three children.

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