At eight, I was a magician
able to slip from any confinement.
After my stepfather beat me
and imprisoned me in my bedroom,
I decided to disappear,
sneaking into the passageway
between the left brain and the right,
dropping through a trap door
and sliding down a chute
to the bottom of the cortex
where I searched a maze of memories
for a safe place to hide
and ended up at grandpa’s farm
where we flew kites all afternoon
on a hill behind the house.

And now, thirty-nine years later,
I slip out of my cell
here at the Kentucky State Pen
each time I write a poem.
Last week, I slipped out a window,
climbed down a rope, eluding guards,
then scaled the perimeter wall.
I wandered along the Cumberland riverbank,
happened upon an abandoned boat
and rode the currents to the Ohio,
Mississippi, and the Gulf, where I watched
a man hanging from a bright red canopy
above the rocking waters
parasail into the sky.