Douglas Cole TullianumEvery moment between these wallsI flinch at crows dawn-cawingapples falling through leavesbranches scraping the rooftopwith someone sleeping beside mein some other fabric of stonethat creeps up the nails of my fingersand into my light-deprived skinthe walls within walls I live withinthe layers of muscle I’ve trained by blind hours in solitary motion in a two foot by two foot room going nowhere in bones wrapped in winter fire built out of need what can I tell you about the glowing walls of mysteryyou who can only go so farrestricted by visiting hoursand institutional rules of contactother than a note left after the factI say I am here and I am free how else to give this to youan answer for why and how I can speak quietly into your ear when you arrive and find nothing but an empty cell Copyright © 2018 Douglas Cole Douglas Cole has published four collections of poetry and a novella. His work appears in anthologies such as Best New Writing, Bully Anthology, and Coming Off The Line as well as journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Chiron, The Galway Review, Red Rock Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Slipstream. He has been nominated twice for a Pushcart and Best of the Net, and has received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry, judged by T.R. Hummer; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway. His website is douglastcole.com.