After the Fact
The first rule oøf deconstruction is wash your hands.
Before you land a single sticky fingertip on the artifacts,
witlessly smearing proof on every spot the eye catches,
tagging everyday things with a graffiti that kisses and tells.
Afterthoughts remind you that clues can't wait to testify,
to be a damning witness found in the litter of your haste.
Summon as much mindful dignity as you might find on hand
amid these edgy, anxious seconds, exposed and alone.
Go calmly to the waiting facet, steady as a old accomplice,
and release an immediately forgiving gusher, splashing cold
on the trembling skin you rub in search of soapy absolution.
Little by little, the friction reduces and diminishes your stains
until the tails of stubborn evidence slip down a sink drain
like sins into grace, lost like shadows in a box.
Once the final streaky film of shame, salted by your fear,
is flushed forgotten into sewers, dark beneath the streets,
vanished in the mingled ooze of things we collectively deny,
only then should you start to engineer your reversals.
With unsoiled hands, you readily undo your covert doings,
untouch and unmove all the props you cannot possess,
unshow the scenes you dare not admit you perform,
find and unwind a limber bit of history to rearrange.
Then, join the just so pieces of an unassuming scene
so ordinary and bland that it camouflages fully
the life you only dare to reveal in your world of one.
No one has watched you touch what everyone
wants to believe goes untouched and unknown.
The first rule of deconstruction is wash your hands.
About the Poem
This poem plays a little with the mental dances people do when concealing secrets. The casual eye usually never notices the things others put out of our sight. However a worried mind, ever concerned with being revealed, sometimes goes a few extra paranoid steps to cover its tracks. Here is a video interpretation of this poem, read by David and accompanied by original music written by David Maddux:
After the FactA peek into the headspace of people with something they believe they need to hide. View on YouTube
This poem is previously unpublished in print. This poem was finished July 11, 2001.