America, I am by all accounts a part of your perplexing, exclusively
inclusive, red, white, and blue universe, but sometimes
I wish I wasn’t. But of course you would not understand.
To you, other worlds do not exist.

America, you think I hate you because I do not love you,
that I do not respect you because I will not bow my head
and pray to you, that I am ungrateful for what you have
given me because I will not accept it unconditionally.

America, I will not be joining you in search of the American Dream.
I have my own dreams, largely un-American.
I don’t want to own a car or a house in the suburbs,
I only want perhaps a place to think and write.

America, I’ll say your pledge the day it becomes true.
America, I hope it does. America, I am not proud.
America, I am not impressed. America, I am tired.

Lydia Hirsch is a poet, writer, and socialist living in Southern California. She can be reached at: Read other articles by Lydia.