Throughout this election season, NPR and its member stations have been having a national conversation called "A Nation Engaged." The project has looked at central themes in this year's election, including this week's question:
What does it actually mean to be American?
We put this question to some promising young spoken word artists, and we'll be sharing their poems with you all week.
This is a poem entitled Death of a Nation by Marrim Al-akashi, a graduate of Fordson High School.
Death of a Nation, by Marrim Al-akashi
My parents, the refugees
that gave life to a wound
Having me dead before the blood dried
My skin slashed open
once they crossed borders
I bled all over
what they could have been
My body decayed
when I learned the language
of the soldiers who shot my country down
And I am buried under
the words I speak in broken Arabic
Marrim Al-akashi is a Detroit Citywide Poet alum. Her poetry centers around her identity as a Muslim American poet of Iraqi descent. She recently graduated from Fordson High School.