Poem: Surveillance

I don’t write much poetry, but here’s one that might be timely:

Surveillance (For Edward Snowden)

Just which secret do you want to know?
That I slept with my cousin the year everyone was 28?
That my grey suitcase was the one I stole from your bedroom?
That I didn’t love you?
That the secret ingredient was sugar?
That I walked behind couples so that I
Could know what one person says to another?
That I read your diary, that I used your brush,
That I peeked through the door, that I forged your name?
That I forgot to wear a green tie on assembly day?

That I wanted you to fail
That I made fun of a fat woman who took up two
Seats in the bus.
That I dropped out of school,
That I graded the essays without reading them.

Was it you who saw
Me rolling down the grass of Parliament Hill
Hugging myself?
Was it you who saw
Me sitting cross-legged on the floor of the
Elevator as the doors opened?

Was it you who saw
That I didn’t clean the corner by the radiator
Or the wet stains on the sheets and headboard?
You who saw
That I can’t get up this morning and
That the next cookie
Has to last
Until the next commercial?

Did you record
the sounds of the three of us in bed?
Did you capture
the joy in my heart while I was
Humming “My Favorite Things”?
Did you analyze
the underline I put under the word
“Beautiful” when I emailed my sister?
Did you scan
where I put the line
Break in my last poem?
Did you scrutinize
the timbre of my voice when I
Said “Perfect” ?
Did you observe that I wrote “resumé” instead of “resume”?

Do you have any idea that by “flower” I mean the
Rhododendrons by Highway 117 which yesterday
Turned from red to blue?

Come, sit down.
I’ll tell you everything.
You can be
In a poem.

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