By. Maddie Ruud

I collect lies:

Every morning, eager as a child, I open the box
in which I keep them, and spread them on the floor.
I dress them in each other’s clothes.
I have them kiss, and fight. But the day's maturing.
I set my lies in lines upon the table, where
I group them, genus, and then species, and
pin labels to their lifeless bodies. I give each
an entry in my log, as consolation. I'm too
tired to play God again.

Night falls. Under my blanket Truth, I shiver
with insomnia and cold. I must make it up with
sheets of lies; this is the only bed I can sleep in.
I pack them in around me, clutch my favorite
to my chest like a still-born child, and cry for it,
but they all fall away when I dream.

Maddie Ruud is a performance artist from Berkeley, California. View her blog at %20www.maddieruud.blogspot.com/, and her ongoing freelance column at www.standard-freelancer.com/author/80.