Edwin by John Langenfeld

Edwin clenched a clutch of mulberries, squeezed their skin to mush, pressed his hand to the wall. Limned schematics of elk, antelope, deer. Light beyond the cave bathed thickets of oak in puddles of glimmer. He chipped flint to an axe, hewed a canopied spruce, bore into its hull. Sailed his skiff across shark-glutted seas to scale the face of a cliff. Lay on its ledge. Inhaled blue air. Edwin crafted cages and peddled tickets for tourists to pet iguanas, capuchins, flamingos. Culled ore from the earth. Smelted it into towers. Tallied equations concocted on the palm of his hand and riveted tin to pinions. Flew beyond hills, beyond neighbors, beyond shore-break. Far beyond the familiar contours of his face.



John Langenfeld entered the Texas prison system at the age of twenty-one and served fifteen consecutive years. While incarcerated he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in literature from University of Houston at Clear Lake. John is a lifetime member of Sigma Tau Delta – International English Honor Society. He has been published in Entropy, The Threepenny Review and was a finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize 2017.