Martha L. Deed


Year Three

If I tile my bathroom walls with the Bill of Rights
one to a square
and windbags blow shut the doors of my house
dusty fallout clogging my lungs and skin
and if all I can think to do
is to shower long and hard
reading all the rights Iíve lost
save the right to bear arms
with assault rifles if needed
and if soap and water cannot soothe
and I stand suffocated
dizzied by the printed walls
if the walls seem to move silently
threaten to shatter at my feet
then, of course, I have been driven crazy
and it took only three years
which if you stop to think about it
is a compliment to my sanity
three years of lies to kill my brain
it could have happened faster
to a weaker soul
if I reach out a finger
touch the walls
and my finger feels them move
the grout drifting to my feet
then I will know
constitutional dyspepsia
dripping from leaking
balances of power
has rotted the constitution
behind my shower wall
and I have not gone crazy
though the creek has reversed its flow
in Augustís storms, the ship of state
slides backwards, upended, and half-swamped
among the fallen trees and rotting fish
a ruin awaiting false memorials