“Bless me father, for I have sinned…”
Don’t bother culling through my life.
You see, my telephone calls are quite mundane.
My emails consist of routine requests, everyday replies
and endless bytes of spam, spoofing and phishing events.
And if you look at my snail mail, you’ll soon discover nothing:
nothing but bills, an occasional subscription notice and mounds
and mounds of ads and solicitations. Fodder for recycle bins.
Now it’s true I’ve demonstrated my share of dissent.
I marched against Vietnam and dared to dabble in Communist doctrine.
I flirted with the RCP, danced openly with them in MacArthur Park.
Yes, I admit, I consorted with Karl Marx,
slept with Mao-Tse-tung, philandered with Fidel and Che.
Even now, I’m a registered member of the DSA.
And when George Bush waged war on Iraq and the rest of us
I stood on the National Mall in sub-zero degrees
and raised my voice in hallowed dissent.
And let’s not forget: I’m a member of that dreaded sect
known as Islam. I attend the mosque, admittedly, on occasion
and have the nerve to criticize the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Even when the Iranians stormed our embassy back in 1979
I applauded their audacity to defy the Great Satan
to stand up to the impudent forces of imperialism.
And yes, I confess, Edward Snowden, in my eyes,
is a true American hero. A patriot. A defender
of the constitution and its imagined way of life.
Yes, I admit it. I confess. I am fully conscious of my crime.
I am fully aware that what I learned growing up –
fables of freedom, equality and the pursuit of happiness –
were nothing more than fairy tales and lies.
That the boogiemen you foisted upon us –
the communist threat, the Ayatollah, the Islamic scourge –
were mere scrims blowing in the wind.
But these are mere trifles.
I’m an adult now. I’m man enough now
to stop believing in Santa Claus. To know:
that the American dream is just another legend
a marketing campaign created at the intersection of Pennsylvania and K.
And you, Oh omniscient one, Oh NSA,
Oh keeper of the book that will be read to me on judgment day,
are just doing your job, doing your best in this best all possible worlds
as I tell you loud and clear, in a voice for all to hear:
I am now and have always been —
In the name of our forefathers, and of our sons,
and of your unholy spirit.
© Mike Maggio 2014