A love letter to patriotism: You are the Sun, and I am only an asteroid, cold rock orbiting your brilliance. I fell, spinning, into your greedy embrace.
America, I wonder if you will ever truly see me. Curiosity
brings me to the water’s edge—what do you see first? That
the eyes are open and dark and bloody? That the flesh is
scraped raw from too many scrubs with salt and lemon
and cyanocarbon? Ripples distort my face, make me a monster.
Cruel master! I wear a cotton mask to protect my mouth from
the words it wants to say, hold an umbrella to keep from burning.
Yet for you, I gently singe my life away using candles meant for a wake.
But of course you would never let the beast of burden drive.
My body is a line that starts from the scars on my ankles to
the bruises on my elbows to the oily words on the tip of my
frayed tongue. Memories of your broken floors line my trachea
and spool their way into hard glass coating my arteries. Under
your sweltering spacious skies, I keep turning and turning until
there are no words left, no scars–
just purple mountain majesties and shining seas and me.