Kendra DeColo

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Kendra DeColo is the author of three poetry collections, I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is also co-author of Low Budget Movie (Diode, 2021), a collaborative chapbook written with Tyler Mills. She has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Millay Colony, Split this Rock, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Her poems and essays have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House Magazine, Waxwing, Los Angeles Review, Bitch Magazine, VIDA, and elsewhere. She has performed her work in comedy clubs and music venues including the Newport Folk Festival, and she has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Vanderbilt University, and the Tennessee Prison for Women. She currently teaches at The Hugo House and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Source

I Want to Burn the Frat House of America to the Ground

I have seen the white columned porches 

from which insignias blare

across lawns shimmering like art installations 

made from tailgate chairs

and solo cups where I’d hold 

my breath until I reached the end of frat row 

eclipsed by khaki legs spread boldly 

as the tilt of a student’s confidently 

capped head under which a smirk gleamed

“I am the one paying you to be here” 

by which I mean this poem could be tilted

my mother tells me her #MeToo stories 

I mean I have never felt

at home inside myself

after my daughter was born 

I washed my hands and counted

breaths, synapses of light

blinking messages 

in the hollows of my bones

like a purging of joy 

by which I mean my hands became so clean I couldn’t feel

my child as she slept

in my arms

by which I mean my mother held me

and she didn’t 

I mean my mother’s body was a house burning 

and I’ve been burning ever since

Published:

2018

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

2023

Themes:

Politics

Womanhood

Literary Devices:

Anaphora

a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Dialogue

conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Imagery

visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work

Simile

a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”