Kendall Cruise

An Ode to the Not-Me

I imagine she drives with the sunroof

open. That she slams

the pedals of a hippie van. That she

lives in a house that has a blue ground

floor, but a yellow second. That they are

separated by swirling, scalloped trim.

Her office would double

as a plant nursery that

the cats are not allowed

in. Oh yes, she has cats, two of them,

one for each dog, and a snake, who

curls around the arm like one would hug.

In this dreamscape, this would

not cause her to have to

take so much Allegra.

In her journals, she imagines

my roads; wonders at what speed

I am racing towards her. Analyzes

her face in the mirror, tries

to discern her age. Wonders—

how much longer must she wait?

When decorating, she would

believe in maximalism, pattern-mixing,

bright colors, that are complimentary or

otherwise. In this world, she can have

lots of things while only being

messy in a purposeful way that is pleasing to the eye.

That anytime she hears the birds chirp

outside, she chooses to eat on her porch

over poetry. She would spend too much

time mowing the yard, lost in thought. But

tells herself that this time is required

when the delicacy of a garden, the ancientness

of a tree is considered. Pretends

she does not have to catch

her breath at the thought

of a flat tire. I think she

goes to bed before eleven and

falls asleep in the first fifteen minutes.

In her slumber, she always dreams.


that I don’t miss—

the turn.

Kendall Cruise is a junior English (creative writing) and adolescence education major at SUNY Geneseo. When not obsessively revising their latest piece of writing, she can be found constructing hyper-specific playlists or on The Sims. They are a section editor for their college’s newspaper, The Lamron, and have been previously published in Gandy Dancer and Iris Magazine.