america by Fatimah Asghar

am I not your baby?
brown & not allowed
my own language?
my teeth pulled
from mouth, tongue
bloated with corn syrup?
america, didn’t you raise me?
bomb the country of my fathers
& then tell me to go back to it?
didn’t you mold the men
who murder children in schools
who spit at my bare arms
& uncovered head?
america, wasn’t it you?
who makes & remakes
me orphan, who burns
my home, watches me rebuild
& burns it down again?
wasn’t it you, who uproots
& mangles the addresses
until there are none
until all I have are my own
hands & even those you’ve
told me not to trust? america
don’t turn your back on me.
am I not your baby?
brown & bred to hate
every inch of my skin?
didn’t you raise me?
didn’t you tell me bootstraps
& then steal my shoes?
didn’t you make there no ‘back’
for me to go back to?
america, am I not your refugee?
who do I call mother, if not you?

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