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Ben (Cincere) Wilson is a writer, advocate and

Program Assistant at the

Institute for Transformative Mentoring

Center for New York City Affairs

In a room filled with computer stations,

students attempt to out philosophize the philosophers

with well placed commas and participial phrases.

These are not ordinary students; they are prisoners.

They know that every idea takes them

that much further from a cell.

Their thoughts explode like grenades

and send neuron shrapnel across the cerebral cortex

to the printer in the corner of the room.

Gray, White, and a little bigger than a breadbox,

it whines as each page ignites an intellectual spark.

It whines because its friends have abandoned it.

No longer do students hover near

while it delivers their missions of academia.

No longer does it listen to students argue their point

and strengthen their arguments.

No longer is it as free as the thoughts it used to print.

The printer is locked in a cage.

Not because it printed every thought that came its way,

but to be used as a tool to prevent the thoughts that come its way

from being as free as they can be.

People say, “They can lock up your body but not your mind.”

One glance at the printer in a cage reminds me that

not everyone believes that.

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