Issue 29 • December 2019

Art & Lit

Art & Lit

The American Dream

Karsten Rynearson, Andover


I was born from the sparks of musket shots and the anguish of slaves

From Horatio Alger’s beautiful lies and the Manifest Destiny that destroyed everything from coast to coast

Written in sweltering halls by old men that looked alike

I’ve luxuriated in drinking the most expensive wine

Blood, of my people, and the ones that came before, and the Vietnamese farmers, and the Iraqi mothers

I whetted the appetites of all that sought me

For a superior future, for “freedom”, for more money

You’ve been deceived, my dear, darling compatriots

Your future will be full of strife

Freedom is still not free in the freest country in the world

They heard I’d bring them from rags to riches

 How are there so many people in rags killing themselves for the rich?

I gave them a ladder to climb for eternity

the idea that even when it means pushing people to their deaths

that the only way to survive is to keep climbing

I’m sorry, America. I was not the dream that I promised to be

I’ve killed your children on foreign fields in the name of freedom

I’ve robbed you of your decency, locked you up in the chains of your greed

At the very least, please find comfort in the fact

that i’m dying

slowly, tweet by tweet, bullet by bullet by bullet,

and at my funeral, tell them that I was wrong

next time, love each other more than you love yourselves

Bring them together, indivisible

Give them liberty, give them justice

For all


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