White is a state of mind. Spangled. Blinding,
Shining sky awash in all its shining. White arms
Spread wide claimed she was friendly, cried she was
Mighty, then tracked her mud across my shore,
Gilded lamp lifting to hawk a fantasy. Eyes torched
Dark with snake-oil, heeled vision burnt in blood,
In blood ransacked what hungered me, then built
A fence that voids me still. Mother, illegal, Mother-in-exile,
Spurned unworthy, told “Go back to your country,” Mother
Still yearning to breathe. Free. Been tired, been poor,
Been wretched, barricaded, huddled mass ’cross stolen
Centuries, undocumenting liberty. Goodbye to all of that.
World-born-wrong, how freedom preens red-throated
From your jail. Here lies her empty. Here lies her brass
Corona, her rusted. Colossus drowned under artless seas.
I, too, will miss America.
Safiya Sinclair reciting