Frankie, Inmate 27388, San Quentin— wants a photo of his favorite band, Def Leppard onstage, as if it were taken last night. Isabella, Inmate 77429, Denver Women’s Correctional Facility— wants a photo of her family sitting around a big pan of their famous, freshly-made tamales that made them the heroes of their barrio. Miguel, Inmate 127281, Corcoran State Prison— wants a photo of his pit bull, Apollo, running with a pack of grey wolves through an evergreen forest under the watchful eye of the full moon. Lori, Inmate 389772, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility— wants a photo of her parents in front of a stone mansion, holding bags of money, next to an elephant, ready to take them wherever they wish. Angel, Inmate 113483, Kentucky State Penitentiary— wants a photo of a rose gold Rolls Royce Phantom parked on top of the attorney who fucked him—the wife he murdered at the wheel. James, Inmate 834711, Florida State Prison— wants a photo of a wall with a rainbow painted on it. Maybe some running horses painted on, as well. Gregory, Inmate 417332, Oregon State Penitentiary— wants a photo of a parade celebrating the abolishment of prisons, most importantly, the repeal of the death penalty. Extra creativity with the computer may be involved. Martin, Inmate 663920, Ely State Prison— doesn’t want a photo. He wants the photographer to call him, write him letters, visit him if he’s in the area, give him a sense of worth that his estranged tribe denies him. If that’s not possible, then just a photo of the photographer’s face—male or female— a smile bigger than Mona Lisa’s.
Bill Livingston, originally from Altoona, PA, is a poet, humorist, advertising copywriter and photographer who has been published in FLARE: The Flagler Review, The Literary Hatchet, The Loch Raven Review, Danse Macabre, TreeHouse, Flipside, New Verse News, Radius and Brooklyn Poets Anthology. He is a supporting member of The Poetry Project and an original member of Brooklyn Poets, where he was named “Yawper of the Year – 2018”. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, his twin, teenage daughters and a chug named Penny.