America will be the name of my first daughter.
She will be pulled from my womb screaming and I will swear
to the nurse that her wails sound like a Bob Dylan song.
She will have a cherry tree red birthmark
on her left cheek. She will not be pretty.
On her fifth birthday, she will ask me what the word bastard means.
It will be the only time I ever lie to her, saying
that it stands for “something too precious to hold.”
I make a mental note to rip that page out of our dictionary later.
Every year, she will refuse to blow out the candles on her cake
claiming the monsters under her bed need to wishes more.
Meri, will never cease playing when the street lights flicker on
and I will wait up like a ghost until
she comes through the screen door, all giggles,
telling me the conversation she had
with the pine trees that night.
My baby will scream her lungs sore the first time a boy
tries to kiss her on the playground.
She will punch him in the jaw and refuse an apology.
I will get frustrated every morning
when my lipstick is nowhere to be found.
It will be her secret weapon. Her atom bomb.
She will smuggle it away in her backpack
and paint her lips on the bus.
She will claim she likes the way it makes
her look like a lioness,
mouth dripping with blood.
She will be thrown against lockers and rarely invited to parties.
No one will be a fan of the way her
and her best friend decide to go to prom together.
Sisters with a secret and a fondness for dancing by themselves.
The others will tease her for years,
saying she is named after a dead thing.
But she will be brave, the crucifixion kind.
She will wear baseball caps and floral dresses.
She will always ask the worst questions in bible study.
She will read the paper while she paints her nails.
My daughter will be the messiah of a dying land.
My daughter will be what the founding fathers fucked up.
My daughter will be the only America I ever pledge my heart to.
b.e.fitzgerald (America, my love)