In Which I, Too, am Kendall Jenner – National Poetry Month – 4/5

I.

If this is a poem in which I, too, am Kendall Jenner –

Young, white, liberal,

Concerned about things –

Then during a week in Manhattan

I drink nothing but Pepsi and

It is somehow revolutionary, as though

I am the first person to ever discover it exists

II.

I join a crowd and immediately walk to the front

I tell the story later

Add something about never being a follower

Or having a fear of lights

III.

I happen upon the wave by accident

But how warm the water is on my skin

Like floating in the Atlantic

Birds, white and glinting in the sun,

Flying above me

And dolphins swimming in circles like

It’s a ship route they learned years ago

I tread water and

Never dive any deeper

IV.

I go to the march.

Not sure what the signs say,

The white dripping all over them and

Words get turned into other words,

But the aesthetic works

V.

While I’m in these streets

I do everything I can

To make everyone here

Be seen.

I don’t even try to speak.

I never say a single word.

VI.

I go home from the march

VII.

I go home from the march with my skin,

as far as I can tell, glowing as much as ever

But when I go to check again in the mirror I realize

There isn’t one at all.

A whole day spent looking at other people and

I haven’t looked at myself in the mirror in

Probably years.

VIII.

I tell myself

I can stop being concerned about things and rest easy

Knowing that I helped break down this system of

Benefitting from the oppression of

Other people.

IX.

When I wake up in the morning

My room smells

Tropical. Like sugar cane

When I get dressed

I suddenly get the worst case of cotton mouth

I get to the restaurant for brunch

Order a black coffee

The waitress says

“We’re all out. Is Pepsi ok?”

And I say…

I could keep going

But if this poem is one in which I, too, am Kendall Jenner

Then it is in fact all of my poems

And when I say

In which I, too, am Kendall Jenner

I was not talking about this

To begin with

I was talking about reality

Which this, too, is

Yesterday, and today, and tomorrow, and the next

If this poem is a case of performative allyship

Then it is all of my poems

It is in fact all of my allyship

If this is the end of the poem then it is, too, the beginning

I drink an ice cold soda

And if you asked

My youth

My whiteness

My privilege

What it tastes like

We’d say

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