First Year Of College

By Brayan Salinas

let’s discuss conductivity
litmus test adulthood
you were so nervous
you do laundry now
your mom texts you every day
and it’s sweet and it’s kind
but it’s sort of overwhelming

mobile depositing checks from your job
at a picture book museum
you studied white supremacy in children’s literature this semester

one of my final papers was on how using statistics to
evaluate the conditions of  the oppressed is less conducive
than the usage of anecdote; of story; of myth; of truth

thank you for letting me stay over at your house Melissa
despite only knowing me for a few hours
I’m sorry your grandmother died
and ruined your trip to Canada

I had a dream last night that Audre Lorde’s biomythography
and Lynda Barry’s autobifictionalography had a baby
that baby is me
gender doesn’t exist on the east coast
or maybe it does
except magnified

some people personify gender
wear a pink dress
call it gender
wear doc martens
call them gender
sever the body
call him gender

your friends bought undocumented drugs with this internet currency called Bitcoin
and your art history professor spewed the sentence
“half an inch of empty”
and “queerness of the train”
your classmate did a ten-minute presentation on
“chairs are really interesting to me
especially empty chairs
they echo human form”
you learned about Puerto Rico
abolish the Jones Act!
(no, not that one, the other one)
“chairs symbolize an absent person”
and the “potential return of who is absent”

you are surrounded by new people
this is your opportunity for love
another tinder match
another corner-eyed glance
another misspelled word
I learned that being a grammar nazi is another form of racism
Kafkaesque cacophony of your breath during sleep

I don’t need no white man to evaluate my oppression
no academia, no fancy words, no damn statistics
another trap song plays unironically in the background
how can it be 2017 and you still have yet to diversify the board?
old white women and men sit on boards
and I’m sitting on the side of the street waiting for the bus
Lord take me to Antonio’s today
another slice of that bacon chicken ranch pizza please

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