American Dream

Someone was still always washing up
    on your shores, America; or arriving
with that mythical one suitcase, 
    that dollar crumpled in one hand
after having survived countless 
    nights at sea. Someone was still
always praying about forgiveness 
    for taking only what was needed,
for dreaming what others sneered at
    as impossibility or extravagance.
Even as ice rained on the desert, even
    as the skies above California turned
the color of rusted chains, someone
    was still trying to dig out remnants
of that dream. Confused birds tucked 
    their heads under their wings. 
In field after field, garlic and artichoke 
    hearts bent beneath the weight
of all they too could no longer hold. 


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