Archive | 2:34 am

You Bring Out the American In Me

8 May

[Yet another take on the fabulous original. ]

You bring out the American in me.
roll of quarters from CVS
and chai tea in me.
The freeways,
I’ll take it to go,
gas station not
petrol pump
in me.

You’re the one
who sets the twang free,
it’s okay to skip the ts
and ripple the rs in me.
The screaming Go Yankees
the 7th and 17th
the Jewish rye bread
rise like a rollercoaster
on a Six Flags trip
over Thanksgiving weekend.

You bring out the American in me.
The cranberry sauce
and the J. Crew in me.
The knee high boots
and the TGIF in me.
no white shoes after
Labor Day in me.
The Fall colors
Priceline deals
and Dunkin Donuts in me.

The Staples,
the Kinkos
the Office Max in me.

Yes you do, yes you do.

You unravel the miles in me.
extra large tub of popcorn
in me.
The materialist,
misplaced philanthropist,
softened first-worlder in me.
Like 5-foot walls of Syracuse snow.

You bring out the American in me.
alto cinco and
hola chica in me.
‘sup dude and how you doin’
in me.
And I ache for the trees to shed on the Schuylkill
so I can look across at identical slatted porches
with overalls and Ford pick-ups on tidy squares of lawn.

I want to drive up 81 North
take exit 18
to University Ave.
look up the old red door
that meant heat and home
and the overwhelming urge to pee.

You bring out the American in me.
The Judith Lane and Halloween
in me,
the Salvation Army and free microwaves
and sofas left on the street
in me.

I am tenacity.
I am duplicity.
cling to you
with teeth of salt,
and blood of hepatitis-proof veins.
arm flares red
at hidden TB
that my billion at home
have endowed me.

You bring out the American in me.
The panic attacks and
depression in me,
the love of weekends
fear of vulnerability
and addiction to sitcoms in me.
The Philadelphia skyline,
Victoria’s Secret super-sales,
Bath & Body Works in me.

I am torn
detached from hip and limb
praying at the altar of Starbucks deities
and only bankruptcy keeps me
from you
gently undulating Stars and Stripes.

Only yours, only you.
Love the way an immigrant loves.
The way
only a girl in her twenties can surrender
before the emotion evanesces
into post-drizzle mists
and my Indian birth
reclaims me.