from One Big Self: "Count heads"

            Count heads. Count the men's. Count the women's. There are five
main counts in the cell or work area. 4:45 first morning count. Inmate
must stand for the count. The count takes as long as it takes. Control
Center knows how many should be in what area. No one moves from area
A to area B without Control knowing. If i/m is stuck out for the count i/m
receives a write-up. Three write-ups, and i/m goes to lockdown. Once

                                 in lockdown, you will relinquish your things:
​                         plastic soapdish, jar of vaseline, comb or hairpick, paperback
​                                 Upon return to your unit the inventory officer
                         will return your things:
​                                 soapdish, vaseline, comb, hairpick, paperback
​                                 Upon release you may have your possessions:
​                                 soapdish, vaseline, comb, pick, book
​                         Whereupon your True Happiness can begin

In the Mansion of Happiness:

Whoever possesses CRUELTY

Must be sent back to JUSTICE

Whoever gets into IDLENESS

Must come to POVERTY

Whoever becomes a SABBATHBREAKER

Must be taken to the Pillory and there remain until he loses 2 turns

C. D. Wright, "Count Heads" from One Big Self. Copyright © 2007 by C. D. Wright.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press,
Source: One Big Self (Copper Canyon Press, 2007)
More Poems by C. D. Wright