Welcome to America

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A thought bubble,
like a puff of smoke,
propagates.
Hovering above the pointed blades of grass,
emitting its fresh baked scent
as it ascends to the clouds above.
Here is where it overlooks
the graves of those
that perished at its expense.
A single,
inalienable clause
written with drips of stale blood
upon wilted skin.
Blood composed of the dead
that it failed to save from alienation
to begin with.

Shagatom. Shalom. Bienvenue. Willkommen.
Welcome to America.
A melting pot
of every different race, religion, and creed.
Where the streets are paved with yellow bricks
that don’t lead you to Oz,
but instead to immigration lawyers.
Understaffed and underwhelming,
a green card means proceed with caution,
and anything else
means “stop taking advantage of my tax dollars.”
But hey,
be grateful for the opportunity anyway.

Welcome to America.
Land of the free,
home of a higher incarceration rate
than the next nine countries combined.
A system
that would ruin the reputation
of the white teenage rapist,
but has no problem
restraining a poor woman
who couldn’t afford to pay her parking ticket.
A system
rusted by time
and reeking of must.
A system
of bars bent out of place.
A system
where five black men exist
for every one white face.
A system
where it seems only injustice is served.
But for some reason
our twisted brand of freedom
must remain preserved.

Welcome to America.
Here
our representative republic
encompasses every facet of democracy.
Here
our announcements are ascertained
and
our concerns are considered.
That is,
until the one percent writes a blank check
that is anything but blank.
It lines the pockets of campaigns,
splashing the blood of innocent victims of gun violence
and locking the emotions of the marginalized youth
in the closet for good.
The middle class dwindles
as the check takes a katana
to the taxes of corporations.
Money is said to be free speech,
but can something that comes at such a high cost
really be free?

Welcome to America.
Where equality reigns
and the pursuit of happiness
sits just over the horizon.
Excluding the 4.3 percent
of those living in extreme poverty,
of course.
Forty homeless students in our district alone.
The barren futures of the children birthed from a developed nation
appear as mere blotches
on a history of domination.
The cyclical progression
does not fade into the typed-up pages of textbooks,
but instead rolls itself into each new generation.
Distasteful comparisons to Africa seem to lose their distance
when 3 million American children
live on less than two dollars a day.
Free and reduced lunch
can only do so much.
And yet our president
tries to take it away.

Welcome to America.
Give us your tired,
your poor,
your huddled masses.
Look toward Her green arm,
held erect by thousands more,
yearning to breathe free.






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