Invisible Ink

Every time I go
into the prison
the guard stamps
my left hand
with invisible ink

During my visit
the ink
runs riot
over my body
swelling
surging
striping my skin
in fatigues

After my visit
the invisible stripes
harden
turn to bars
rotate with a clang
to surround and confine me
and for the rest of the day
I gaze remotely upon the world
still marked
lonely and unseen

— Marcus Rediker
SCI-Greene prison
Waynesburg, Pennsylvania