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United States of America

by Jelani Holloway

Artwork, “Rejuvenation” by Lyle Rushing


What am I
Supposed to believe
When what I believe
Ain’t what I believe
17 years
Minus 5 makes a slave
Get 2 years off if you behave

But I don’t know
If what I think
Is what I believe
My country tis of thee
Oh feel free

To take my words back
Sit and twirl on me
While I dwell in fantasy
If something seems wrong
Talking ain’t the cure
To stop the bleeding

But I don’t know
If what I think
Is what I believe
My country
Burn the flag
No one ever salutes anarchy

But I don’t know
If what I think
Is what I believe
But I’ll make it
I came to far
For you to snatch me

And I won’t give up
No matter how hard I try
I’m only destined to
Fuck and die
And if I off myself
Or feed into the lies
I’ll be another stereotype

But I don’t know
If what I think
Is what I believe
I know what I want
In me
But what I want will have to wait.


Published inPoetryChapel Hill