I’m driving through Nevada
at sun break in an open top Cadillac
listening to Elvis, a thin-tooth comb
in the back pocket of my faded jeans;
James Dean couldn’t be from anywhere else.
I’m praying in a masjid in Bed-Stuy,
sitting on Brooklyn stoops listening
to Billie Holiday. My aunt is crying
at the news of Obama’s win, the Swahili
under my tongue pushed to the back
of my throat. I’m not ashamed to say,
that his skin makes me love him. America
feeds our appetites for everything. A country
that births legends. I’m drawn to this dream
because it’s almost impossible.
The stars and stripes are prison bars,
in-mates in orange jumpsuits, held
without trial. I’m burning the flag,
protesting against Vietnam. This regime
has changed hue, but remains intact.
There’s no easy description for this strange
new fruit. There’s so much greed, people
consume themselves. The American dream
is a lottery, but if we win we win millions.
America – All I can I recall are the names
carved by your fists, your drunken elegies.
Gives her back to her teachers and waitresses,
the wildstyle writers who paint the city
with colours, not blood. She belongs to those
who dance in Harlem, tears running down their faces,
to all those who think and dream about her.
© Copyright Naomi Woddis 2009
Inspired and taken from answers to the the following questions:
What do you feel when you see the stars and stripes and has that changed since Obama became President?
What does the American Dream mean to you?
Whose America is it?