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Jeanann Verlee In a humble, godless house
you moved through youth like any girl.
Dolls & other toys, yours,
Danielle Badra We are not born to be barons of wealth. We
are soft spoken wordsmiths, not soldiers. We are
not broken by hardship or hate. We are not
John James In Georgetown, IN, the steel projector reels.
The desert stretches blankly before us, a red
plain constellated with rows of dry mesquite.
Heather Derr-Smith One man said there are hundreds
of delicate articulated bones
in the human head. So don’t let it
get punched. Easier said than done.
Hieu Minh Nguyen If things happen
the way they are supposed to
my mother will die before me.
Camisha Jones What you know bout ballin'
your every fiber into a tight fist,
letting the naps of history
that birthed you unfurl
Destiny O. Birdsong Or maybe you weren’t. Whenever I’m frightened,
anything can become a black woman in a granite dress:
scaffold for what’s to come: blue lights exploding
like an aurora at the base of the bridge;
Alan King The diner's nearly empty
when you both arrive - except for
the six or so other patrons and
a waitress who calls everyone "Hun".
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Like light but
in reverse we billow.
We turn a corner
and make the hills
Rajiv Mohabir A twist of cotton
daubed in oil
catches flame, an echo