Every other week she dropped $60
in his commissary account — it’s called
putting money on the books — so he could stock
up on incidentals.  When you are behind

bars what is a prized
possession? Surely toothpaste, socks
& deodorant are more important
than Twinkies or rippled

chips. She learned otherwise. A nestegg
of brownies, a few snack
cakes, made him prince
of his pod if only

for a few minutes. He could trade
something sweet or crunchy for a more
prized item like flip
flops or Ramen with which

he could make Chi, a jail
soup of warm
water, jerky, noodles
& Cheetos. Money

on the books gave him authority,
power, rank. He always had more writing
paper than he needed, salt,
pepper & one extra undershirt.