He was known as Ice Man
and part of him liked it

at the very least it covered up the smell
of a Kuklinski-stained existence

stale ethanol breath laced with
brass knuckles in the middle of the night
backs snapping broom handles

his seething seeped out of his pores
overflowing onto the floor
drowning others

he only knew how to loathe

he only knew how to bathe in the blood he pretended to love

he now asks for a different future
his tattered mask
hanging from his decaying face

the serial-killer imprint
in the mattress in his cell
lulls him to sleep where his dreams
give him the glimpse of a hell-less existence

“take me forward in space and time
where no worlds collide
where I have never mutilated,
where betrayal’s absence
is at its loudest.”

security meets him at the gate
asks him to open his bags

his veins run with rage
every inch of his skin drenched
in denial

security’s fingers
show their indifference
to defence mechanisms by tapping on the sign:

“how you respond is entirely up to you.”

a sudden urge to search
inside his own baggage
guides his hands to the very bottom of the void

lifting to his face:

it felt like twisted cords
of shame

the smell was like
of infected neurons

its surface reflected
into blood-shot eyes

the taste of death
lingered on his tongue

security reads the script
in an unwavering tone:

“how you respond is entirely up to you.

the way you interpret
the contents of your baggage

determines whether you get through.”


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