An American Dream (2014)

I wrote four love letters last night

Two of whom I addressed to Tupac and Langston Hughes

The other two are for me and you

I started off with “Dear Mr. Hughes”

But that sounded a bit too formal to me

Considering I already knew his entire backstory, so

I changed it to “Dear Langston” since we were clearly on a first name basis at this point

Dear Langston,

I was just thinking how cool it would be to have been alive in the 1920s

Hanging with Harlem’s best

But then I wondered how you’d feel about Oakland in 2014

And if you imagined flying cars and totally equality by now

Instead of snuggies and BART shootings

Perhaps this is what happens to a dream deferred

It explodes human blood in human veins

Disrupts the flow of rivers

Ancient, dusky rivers

Running through cracks in concrete killing late bloomers

Well thankfully, one or two sometimes slips through, so

Dear Tupac, the rose that grew from concrete

The king of the west side

The only rapper to die then come back to life

Or so they say

I’m sorry you couldn’t see today

But Brenda’s are still having babies

And cops are still heroes for pullin’ triggers on negroes

So not much changed in California, love

But we’re gonna keep our heads up

So Dear Generation Z,

AKA you and me

We are the product of our country

We are America’s progeny

We will sing


An American Dream

Jasmine Hardy