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Clint Smith

There Is a Lake Here

By Clint Smith There is a lake here.
A lake the size of
outstretched arms. And no,
not the type of arms raised
Taylor Johnson

Pennsylvania ave SE

By Taylor Johnson Bless the boys riding their bikes straight up, at midnight, touching,
if only briefly, holding, hands as they cross the light to Independence.
Bless them for from the side the one on the red bike looks like me
his redbrown hair loose against the late summer static heat.
Rasheed Copeland

The Book of Silence

By Rasheed Copeland We learned
from the book
of our fathers’ silence
Lauren K. Alleyne

Heaven?

By Lauren K. Alleyne Where does a black girl go
when her body is emptied `
Of her? And her wild voice,
where does it sing its story
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

I Don’t Know Any Longer Why the Flags Are At Half-Staff

By Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib I think I am breaking up with memory. again. I live
by only that which will still allow me

to do the living. The flag, for example, reminds me
to either feel fear or sadness, depending on how high
Safia Elhillo

origin stories (reprise)

By Safia Elhillo i was born in the winter in 1990 in a country not my own
i was born with my father’s eyes maybe i stole them he
doesn’t look like that anymore i was born
in seven countries i was born carved up by borders
Jennifer Maritza McCauley

Old Blood

By Jennifer Maritza McCauley Before they tell us how to look
at our kilt brothers' bodies:

Tell them we already know how to see ‘em.
Tafisha A. Edwards

Your Rapist is on Paid Administrative Leave

By Tafisha A. Edwards 4. Your rapist has elected to continue receiving his bi-weekly paychecks via direct
deposit. Your rapist has elected not to cash out his 401K for fear of incurring
penalties. Your rapist recently called HR to review his health care coverage—
open enrollment will begin in a few short months and coverage options
are changing.
Hayes Davis

Saturday, 9:30am

By Hayes Davis After their hands are washed
After their utensils are chosen
After little brother needs help
After “Get back to the table!”
Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Drought

By Teri Ellen Cross Davis When you were inside me I could feel you thrive
your rounded kicks, my body your taut drum.
Now I beat these breasts, betrayed by a landscape
that wilts, a place where even tears won’t come.
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