From the Inside: Windows to the Soul

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From the Inside spotlights writing, arts and other forms of expression from young people in lockup.

Eyes are windows to the soul.
What pain will your eyes behold?
My soul has wept.
My soul has sacrificed.
My soul has struggled.
My soul has been loved.
My soul has been hurt.
Eyes are windows to the soul.

If I told you my story your ears would bleed with pain.
You crept through the windows of my soul displaying desirable traits.
Beat me to a disfigured face.
I woke up barely remembering my name.
These eyes have seen my blood splattered on walls, but you love me.
You love me.
So you hold me through the night and scrub the blood away, telling me there will be better days.
I’m always wrong — shouldn’t have done this, or that.
Came home with the dinner cold.
Now my lips are swollen on our tile floors.
Eyes are windows to the soul.
My eyes shut at your presence, because they don’t want to see you anymore.
Don’t creep through my window with that wicked smile.
Only love I ever got from you is when you would throw me to the floor and the cold tile would ice my wounds.
I’d lay there bellowing out I love you, but this isn’t what love does.
Eyes are windows to the soul.
My soul no longer welcomes you.

Lydia is 18. She is currently at Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. Her charges could not be determined.

This appeared in The Beat Within, a publication of writing and art from incarcerated youth, that was founded by David Inocencio in San Francisco in 1996. Weekly writing and conversation workshops are held in California, six other states and Washington, D.C. Submissions and new partners are welcomed. Write to him at

More articles from The Beat Within:

Consumed by the Gang Life

A Secret

My Generation

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