The Equation

by Cosmo the Poet


FREEDOM = Department 3C + Yard 4B – MONEY:


Do you know what it is like to be caged like an animal?

In a box that is unfit to be healthy for human growth?

For deep inside the bowels of cellblock 4B are men and women

Who breathe like me, hurt like me,

Cry like me, and are yearning to be free – like me.


Clink, clink.

Shuffle, shuffle.


As I sit in Department 3C, I secretly rejoice in my paid-for-freedom known as bail.

Between you and me, the view on this side of liberty’s aisle is better to behold.

For also sitting in the courtroom, in another cage

structured solely to contain humans, are men and women

Who hope like me, believe like me,

Pray like me, and are wishing to be free – like me.


Clang, clang.

Shuffle, shuffle.


For this is the true reality of our criminal justice system:

To be set free you must first possess money!

Yes, sisters and brothers:


MONEY = FREEDOM = $$$$ = FREE!!!


And as he, who looks just like me, meets my eyes briefly,

Turns and walks away, leaves me with one final sound:


Clink, clang – his iron chains.

Shuffle, shuffle – his tired feet.


How COSMO received his name:


“As if Miss Spoken Word met Mr. Free-verse Flowing, married and had a gender-neutral child named Cosmo, the Poet.”

With those dark, romantic eyes, she thought, he’d pass for some kind of artist, a writer maybe.

No, she decided, a poet. Some struggling poet who wrote dark, esoteric free verse and had come to the great city of inspiration as others had before him.

Submitted to C-L by Anthony Ramirez.

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