Drawing: The Close Management Cell, by Daniel McKafee, held in solitary confinement at Florida State Prison (Source: Concrete Cage)

“The Close Management Cell,” by Daniel McKee, held at FSP (Concrete Cage)

The following was written by Ricky Silva, 33, who is currently serving a life sentence at Florida State Prison, where he has spent almost four years in solitary confinement held in close management. He writes, “I even agree with my prison sentence… I don’t hold it against anyone who feels I got what I should get… But to someone else I might be a person who is need of human contact to prevent insanity.”

The following entry comes from Silva’s blog, Concrete Cage, which is maintained by a friend on the outside who periodically forwards reader comments to Silva. He can also be reached by email at ricky.lee.silva [at] gmail [dot] com or by writing Ricky Silva, L24722, Florida State Prison, 7819 N.W. 228th Street, Raiford, FL 32026-1000. –Lisa Dawson

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My back’s to the wall but still I will fight
without saying I’m wrong or believing I’m right.
I could live an illusion or even pretend
that I don’t want or need any type of friend.

Do I deserve friends? Who am I to say?
Everyone would have a friend, if I had it my way.
Should a man suffer for his wrongs? I believe so
but what that suffering would be, I don’t rightly know.

Should they hang me upside down by the tips of my toes?
Should they beat me half to death with a length of rubber hose?
Or should they lock me in a cell and deprive what’s called my mind,
just throw away the key until the end of time?

I am without a doubt no angel, that we know for sure.
Many of my past actions were evil true and pure.
I make no excuses, my crimes I wont dismiss
but I don’t believe anyone could possibly deserve this.

To feel so alone at times that you don’t wish to go on.
To constantly reach out for contact and for no one to respond.
To suffer every day with only yourself to blame.
To know the way your mind works will never be the same.

After years in solitary the world sort of drifts away,
your past comes back to haunt you and is stuck on replay.
You begin to hate yourself for all the pain you have caused.
I have struggled for years and now my life is on pause.

I understand how many people would feel, I’m just a piece of shit,
that if my life is total hell, I’m the one who done it.
And if I’m honest with myself, I would have to agree
but everyone needs a friend and that includes me!!!

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