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April 20, 2016

America the Beautiful. {Poem}

statue of liberty america patriotism

America the beautiful.

She comes in waves,
Falling into the currents off the coast of Carolina,
Sipping salt water as if it were tobbaco road moonshine,
Picking up sea shells and sticking them deep into her pockets,
She only takes the broken ones,
The ones that have been loved so hard by the ocean,
That only a part of them remain,
She digs her callused feet into the sand,
Wiggling each toe until it tickles,
Her body being swept away,
With each breath of the inching tide,
She catches the next train to the city,
And reads Emerson to the sleeping gentleman on her left,
She watches as he breathes in and out,
Wonders if someone loves him with such depths they would die so he wouldn’t have to feel an ounce of pain,
She traces the outline of his tense jaw line and feels crevices etched onto his skin,
continues reading Emerson’s words to the sleeping man of stolen mystery,

The train stops and she peeks through the window,
The bright lights remind her of what came before her,
And as she gathers her things,
Kisses the sleeping man on the cheek,
She slips away into the night,
Falls in love with the way the pavement sings as thousands of feet have pushed all the right buttons years ago,
Ships filled with story books in the shapes of human,
Frenchmen seeking life outside of themselves,
Women from Russia leaving behind broken homes and tears of blood, desperately kiss America’s feet,

“Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

Children holding hands of their mother and father,
Tucked Germany away and found Brooklyn NYC,
The neon blinking welcome home,
The world cries for America the beautiful.

She finds herself at where the buildings once stood,
Recalled footage that is branded inside of her brain.
She kneels and kisses the rubble still present even now,
“I didn’t understand before”
She repeats as her mantra.
“I still don’t understand.”
Leaving a single tear to sink into the ashes of her America,

She buys a one way ticket out west,
And sits next to a man named Jose,
He has nine lives written onto his forehead,
She asks how he likes his eggs,
Without hesitation he replies,
“I don’t like eggs at all.”
And pulls out a crumbled magazine,
He flips through the pages unimpressed,
She blatantly asks him how he lives his life,
Without hesitation he replies,
“Without inhibitions.”

He glances up at her rosebud lips,
Cracks a smile and looks back down at a crumbled magazine stained with coffee.
She grins,
looking away from the man and directly towards the sun,
Daydreaming of breakfast blend with cream, eggs sunny side up,
And life,
With no inhibitions.

Oh America the beautiful,
How sweet the sound,
Take me to the soil that was drenched in the blood of our ancestors,
Take me to the wild flowers that the natives were buried beneath,
Where the englishman thought puritan meant killing souls,
And shucking teeth,
I long for you,
And native tongue,
Buffalo child,
Pulse of an eagle,
Fly me home,

So I twist my blonde hair with my finger,
to the silent song sweet Carolina sings,
Waylon soothes me from the dash,
My little feet leave a sign of life well lived on the windshield,
I cant remember the last time I begged anyone for refuge,
I can’t remember the last time I law down at anyone’s feet.

But—

Let’s create turmoil through candidates,
Republican conservatives wipe their feet on what they call left winged liberals,
The bible belt they say,
But we are buried underneath the blood of the slaves,
How do we forgive ourselves?
Do we even understand?
Or shall we sweep that underneath grandma’s rug like we so effortlessly seem to do to all the other ghosts we cant seem to acknowledge,
What happened to the middle ground?
What happened to the America I dreamed of?
The America that dreamed of me?

Oh America the beautiful,
Humans of all colors,
God I love you all,
Melting into a single dream,
Woven into a chaotic realm,
Of honey suckles and stolen nights,
The wolves howl at the moon,
In rememberance of how we became,
America the beautiful,
And beautiful you’ll remain.

 

 

 

Author: Emily Gordon

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Ana Paula Hirama at Flickr 

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