(To America in the age of Ashcroft)

We live in the land of comfort,
too soft and satisfied to
understand the subtle threats that
chip away slowly
at the stony foundations of our love.
The tiny pinpricks of mistrust –
the wary eyes, are you listening there
on the other line or is this
phone tapped, is my e-mail being read?
I check your letters, read your notes,
read the messages you’ve sent
out into the vast wired grid of
knowledge – nothing is sacred
any longer, no bit of privacy too
important to breech.
I look over my shoulder, into
your eyes, wonder if it’s
you or me who’s crossed this line,
or maybe Gary next door or
Sid across the street.
How can I be sure?