My art class teaches that America is the god of rejuvenated happiness, and that I have the wrong religion.
My American History class teaches that America is beautiful, and that I am not.
My biology class teaches that school is a florist, and that I am due for a trimming.
I don’t want to be a product with a satisfactory made-by-america stamp trampling the mumbles of the honey-flavored nostalgia in my heart, or be
a bronze-seared Hollywood girl with butterscotch hair and cherry sap lips, candy floss melting in my brain.
I want to be patchwork skin, sewn with dreams and my grandmother’s peach marmalade dripping through my veins, a paper mâché girl with april rain in my jean collar, sipping it all up like it’s the tea drizzling down my freckles.
I want my children to have untied shoelace boyhoods and daisy-chained songs instead of stringed-up violence and smoke choruses in streets of shredded epiphanies.
To you, I’m just a mass of skin and bones and heartbreak, a puddle of political abyss, a hot potato issue gracing your magazine covers until Taylor Swift gets a new boyfriend.
And maybe I am all that, but I’d like to believe that I’m not just a one-word mass text applicable to half the people in this hurricane country.
And I’d like to believe that your stars don’t cut up the night sky while your stripes cover the sound of my nightmares.
God (bless America), I’d like to believe in the American dream. That pieces of myself could be hidden in the crevices of your nation’s brick bones without waiting for 3 AM divinity.
That I’m not just foreign.
That I’m not just a euphemism for unwanted.
That those strange seven letters that flicker like neon signs in the dazed eyes of Americans aren’t chaos in the form of friction-less lies, tangling up friendships like telephone cords with mocking jokes and poorly concocted stereotypes.
But I don’t believe, however much I dream of believing that America does recognize the merits of “foreign”.
I’m sorry that this word means that you’ve turned the sign to “we’re closed,” but I’m waiting on the day your American roses blossom so much they turn the sign back to “we’re open”.