The Scarlet Letter

I’m sorry
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
I do not know this nation
To which I was required to swear allegiance daily until age eighteen.
This nation obsessed with delusions of grandeur.
This nation drunk on power.
Convinced of its own morality
Because why else would God
In His infinite wisdom
Have endowed the nation with abundant natural resources
Free for the stealing from the native peoples
To provide wealth to fuel
White male subjugation of the world?

From afar, the disease is evident
A grotesquery
From a time when
Two-headed foetuses were displayed in circus sideshows,
Masturbation caused blindness,
And livestock could speak multiple languages.

Bombast
Obfuscation
Gaslighting
Narcissism
Outrage
Denial
Lies

The currency of the politics
Of the diseased.
They feed
And breed
On this offal,
And when one invariably falls
The others descend
In cannibalistic orgy.
Me!
Me!
Me!

All this I watch
From afar.
But the 10,000-mile moat
Is not enough to distance me.
Even the mighty Pacific,
Reservoir of half the planet’s water,
Cannot dilute the stench.
It wafts across the waves
And clings to my American skin
Like a caramel’s sticky residue,
Long after the taste has gone off in my mouth.

It is the red A branded on my chest.
My shame stitched in glittering embroidery for all to see.
Oh! To be as proud as Hester!
To own my heritage
And wear it with straight shoulders
And an uplifted chin!

But instead I write
Because to speak would betray me.
My flat vowels
And voiced H’s
Confirm my guilt.

I am sorry
I am sorry
I am sorry
I do not know this nation.