Norah

United States

18 | she/they | hypothetical astronaut | ekphrastic poet | haunted house

Message to Readers

The form of this poem was inspired by Gabriel Ramirez, go check out his work! Anyway, wrote this poem in a workshop and I really like it.

On Realizing I Am American

July 23, 2020

FREE WRITING

14
 
  1. When I board a bus on foreign soil they have been taught my tongue in classrooms, I do not touch a dictionary once.
  2. And we tell them we’re from Canada, because Canada isn’t on the news nearly as much or because like all animals we fear retribution.
  3. Look, you don’t choose the big rock you’re born on or when, since Pangea ceased to exist things have been pretty much going to shit, any of the microbial ocean spit, the primordial ooze snacking off deep sea chimneys could tell you that. This country, hypocrite, changeable and unflinching both, has written its own history too many times to count. Babble. A cacophony banned in most places of education, sifted, false gold.
  4. They carve men into mountains and don’t mention the wars unless it suits them.
  5. I have wanted to leave.
  6. But America, one of many lumbering, slowly dying things, like all dying things, has weeds poking out of the sidewalk.
  7. I sit with the flag and the pledge of allegiance, these functions of a dream I was told to believe in: that love should be given to the land before you know who pretends to be its stewards.
  8. Loyalty, the idea that block parties and fireworks have no cost.
  9. Rampart standing, I am sitting on my friend’s roof, chalky black, no railing. The buildings gleam like rivers, the bombs made red and blue fill my chest like breathing.
  10. This country does not love me or anyone. My country is land. My country is as breakable as any stretch of dirt, as gullible as prophecies charted by our own worst natures. I will live on this land, this country, perhaps die here, become the primordial ooze every politician, poet, and president will eventually become. But before I go, I will know my neighbors.

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  • July 23, 2020 - 12:14pm (Now Viewing)

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2 Comments
  • rainandsonder

    this is so good, it’s written in prose but it’s so musical and poetic, the words cascade after each other. i missed reading your writing!


    about 2 months ago
  • ava09

    i really like this poem too! :) i found it really relatable and it is a beautiful piece. i really like the list format - i think it works well and does a good job getting your message across!


    2 months ago