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I Am Nikki

The dead walk. The ghosts watch and gossip.

They watch me live alone.

The soulless bodies laugh at what they do not

understand. The remains of humanity long for

strength to divide, detach. the daughter stills

and the longing howls from behind their

imprisoned eyes... as I prevail in a world apart.

The silence deafening as I step over and past


My place is missing, the belonging last. Displaced and unfamiliar, lacking a home to be from, one to come back to. No one waiting for me to return.

The world is borrowed when you are not owned, not claimed by another. The cities unknown, empty copies for miles and miles, from great heights to the shores of the deep.

My name was Patricia, my name was Nicole, Nic or Nikki. But no one calls for me any longer. 

I am forsaken, the soulless eyes are watching, and this seclusion only makes me stronger.

Editor's Note: The author identified here as Nikki is a justice impacted individual currently serving time at Perryville women's prison outside of Phoenix, Arizona