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American Dreaming

My American dream has a low threshold.

I don't need much because I won't allow myself to want more.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of safety.

All men created unequally with the capacity to breathe.

These truths are not self-evident.

My American dream is the nightmare of the original victim.

I exist by way of shackles and bars.

I feel by way of scars that the world pretends don't bleed.

This is not my promised land.

This is my cage.

I was born a hostage.

Before my first page was turned, before I knew,

three-fifths of my humanity was null and void.

My American dream doesn't look like yours.

My presumption of innocence was never a foregone conclusion.

I was born a predator.

I was born to entertain.

I was born to be a slogan on somebody's campaign.

I was born to fill cells.

I was not born to breathe.

My American dream is not guaranteed by the Constitution.

I have no Fifth Amendment rights to be silent.

My quiet act of rebellion.

My hope lost to the dream.

When I lost my claim to an origin.

When I believed the lie of my purpose.

When I chose not to choose.

I lost.

My American dream is suffocating.

When I awake, I'll find peace if I can breathe.

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See all poetry for Reginald Manning #320-223