with the poisonous teeth
and claws on the top of her head.
green with envy because
I speak in a sweeter tongue.
got a book in her hand
with the names of all the crests she killed.
can stand alone without any waves
trying to smash her.
looks like Liberty is just a middle name
can’t make us change our names
can’t make us change how we pronounce our l’s
Can’t cut off our tongues
and have us grow in another one
can’t make me avoid the sun
while you bask in its glory.
oh golly you take my breath away!
Call cops but they won’t come!
just another body washed up on your shores
thinking you’d protect me
Can’t be a gate when the water is free.
Can’t be a gate because I learned how to swim,
after years and years of drowning
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.