They released me from underground isolation in the summer of 1972. The citizens’ group that demanded a second review of evidence against me cheered outside barbed wire as guards unlocked my cuffs. The warden who that morning had dug his thumbnails into my throat now waved to the public and while flash bulbs sounded like gunshots the world seemed painted in different colors. Burner-blue sky cordoned around me like a gas oven and humidity hung like volcanic ash. An officer in brown and blue rolled my new sleeves down to cover the bruises, but I never looked at his face. My eyes fixed on the ink-black sidearm in his holster. The leather dimples in its handle caught sunlight like beads of sweat and I imagined jamming the barrel far back into his mouth, pulling my index finger back into a fist, and howling before lead ripped through me.
They shuffled me into a Volvo as rectangular as a coffin and the civilians rejoiced for justice served.