The Philippian Jailer, Suicide, and Hope

after Lindsay Young


I think of myself
as the Philippian Jailer
in The Book of Acts.

No, I don’t think of myself as a part of the machine
of an incarceration system.
(I want no part of it)

Let’s try this again.

I think of the Philippian jailer
as what Javert’s story could have been
in Les Mís
(if the creators let him live).

Camaraderie with a good-hearted person facing prison.
Seeing his failure not as a failure or “the end.”
There is a light in these cavernous tunnels of ours.
Screw the end of it, because there’s no “end” we have to get to.

Let’s try this again.

I think of myself
as the Philippian jailer
because instead of choosing the darkness, he chose the light I want to choose.

Maya Williams

Maya Williams (she/they) is a Black Mixed Race religious queer suicide survivor currently residing in Portland, ME. She has been published in venues such as The Portland Press Herald, Black Table Arts, Occulum, glitterMOB, and more. Follow them @emmdubb16 on Instagram and Twitter, and connect with them at mayawilliamspoet.com

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