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Two Poems: #WhatsMyAlly and We Met as Strangers

      #WhatsMyAlly

      You are the kind of “ally” that would rather ask me how to twerk than how to pronounce my nameYou are that kind who doesn't know what “cisgender” means but loves staring at my chest before you address meYou make me wonder who my enemies are and trips over words like transphobia and white supremacyYou are the kind who will practice your sassy black woman voice in the mirrorbut cross the street when Black folks pass by you on street cornersYou are the kind of ally who showed up to help gay people have fancy weddingsYou are the kind who wants to take pictures together for the sake of advertising purposesYou are the ally that calls my family's neighborhood up and comingbut would never want to bring up the word gentrificationYou are ally on white horseseemingly scooping down to rescue me from my own depravitiesYou are the kind of ally that shops only at wholefoodsYou are the ally that doesn't realize being gay won't save you from your white privilegeYou are the kind who tells old Black men how adorable they areYou are the kind that sends me links to articles you've only read the title toYou are the ally that will think “Gosh, this couldn't possibly be a poem about me”You are the ally that needs to know this poem is about youYou are the ally, waving righteous sword that loves to hear me tell a sad story over and over again because vicariously living my pain gives you some street credYou are the kind of ally that thinks intersectionality uses too many syllablesYou are the ally that thinks being accepted is the same as being understoodYou are the ally that laughs way too hard at my jokesYou are the kind of ally that will share a poem like this on YouTube but will never listen to the wordsYou are the kind that doesn't understand the problem with words like minoritiesYou are the kind who believes being on food stamps for your adult Americorps position is the same as a 10-year-old brain eating itself for nourishmentYou are the kind that thinks I talk too loud when I am angryYou are the kind who thinks rape is funny because it hasn't happened to youYou are the ally that thinks saying you are colorblind is a complimentYou are the ally that thinks believing in systemic oppression is an optionYou are the ally that will fuck up my pronouns but think it's okay, cause we're friendsYou are the kind of ally that will need to appropriate some yoga after this poemYou are the ally that thinks it's okay to describe someone as having the nerve to be both big AND BlackYou are the ally that loves the texture of my hairYou are the ally that thinks fucking me is the same as fighting for meYou are the kind of ally that thinks you are hilarious when you rapYou are the ally that writes depressing poems in my honor but never fully gets my complexitiesYou are the ally that has enough time to google celebrity sex tapes but not rules on allyshipYou are the ally that celebrates Don't Ask Don't Tell because kids who look like you will never be forced to cross seas to bomb kids that look like them just so they can have some of your fictitious “freedom”You are the kind of ally that will only remember that last line about yoga in this poemYou are the kind of ally that never has to progress, because you have already proclaimed yourself to beWow My Ally

      We Met as Strangers

      You and IWe meet as strangers,each carrying a mystery with us.I cannot say who you are.I may never know you completely.But I trust that you are a person in your own right,possessed of a beauty and value that arethe earth’s richest treasures.So I make this promise to you:I will impose no identities upon you,but will invite you to become yourselfwithout shame or fear.I will hold open a space for you in the world and[support] your right to fill it with authentic vocation and purpose.For as long as your search takes,you have my loyalty.