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Heather Derr-Smith

Gouge

By 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

POLITICS OF AN ELEGY

By Hieu Minh Nguyen If things happen
the way they are supposed to
my mother will die before me.
Camisha Jones

My Hair Starts the Revolution

By 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

To the Black Virgin Mary on a Steeple in Greensburg, PA

By 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 Journey

By 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

This Is What Makes Us Worlds

By Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Like light but
in reverse we billow.
We turn a corner
and make the hills
Rajiv Mohabir

Outcry

By Rajiv Mohabir A twist of cotton
daubed in oil
catches flame, an echo
Joseph Ross

When Your Word Is a Match

By Joseph Ross When you walk past Klans-
men, smiling at you
on your way into the court
house, wondering how
Wo Chan

my mother watches her mother’s funeral footage again

By Wo Chan She closed the doors
and then the blinds
and then her face, midday.
José B. González

English Words

By José B. González my mouth agape for these english words made of stone
their sharpness could split my tongue, but one by one
i’ll use them to build a wall, one by one
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