“The smell of rain leaks in through poorly constructed Plexiglass seals. The sky quickly becomes a deep gray, and cool wind blows down. I cannot feel it but I can see the dust blowing across the bare exercise ﬁeld. The ferocity of the lightning and thunder is apocalyptic. More thunder. Then I realize that my mind has drifted off again as it sometimes does in here. I am actually hearing gunshots and thinking it is thunder. The booming in the distance is concussion grenades exploding. Another race riot must have kicked off out on the yard.”
—From “How Long Has It Been Since You Smelled a Flower?” Richard Shelton’s selections in Orion of nature writing by Arizona State Prison inmates
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