Prisons and cops survive only in tales for the young
like twin Atlantises or two drowned boogeymen.
A cop’s as harmless a Halloween getup as any
monster, while a prisoner costume’s as taboo as a slave one
now that schools teach what makes them kin.
A prison is the far-off past of a structure
turned free housing, each cell wall knocked to sandcastle
ruin, halls reshaped and re-dyed in green paints,
former floor plans carved out like shores
into spacious homes, laundry and A/C a given in each.
Though prisons and cops won’t be found anywhere,
our youths still learn of them, and they know what they mean,
how they look, how they function, what it will take to stop them
if they return with new names.