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Rajiv Mohabir

Outcry

By Rajiv Mohabir A twist of cotton
daubed in oil
catches flame, an echo
Christopher Soto

THE AESTHETICS OF SUFFERING

By Christopher Soto I’m his // retired slut // on food stamps // forever
Sniffing horse tranquilizer // seeing digital dreams
Like a kitten // with eyes sewn shut // like syzygy
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
Fred Joiner

Currency

By Fred Joiner a pocket can sometimes be
a kind of prison,

I have never lived in
Esther Lin

Spratly and Paracel

By Esther Lin After learning his appointment was canceled
and his senior bus won’t come for another two
hours my father calls from his waiting room
Jeanann Verlee

Grease & Salt

By Jeanann Verlee I finish a small hot plate of grease & salt, & push the scraped-clean plate across the counter for someone else to scrub / this, I say I have paid for but it doesn't fit
Camisha Jones

Ode to the Chronically Ill Body

By Camisha Jones This body is one long moan

My feet a landscape of mines
My legs two full pails of water I spill
at the weight of
My back where the sharpest knives are kept
My hands a scatter of matches ready to spark into flame
Kathi Wolfe

Love at First Sight

By Kathi Wolfe In an elevator trapped
between the fifteenth and sixteenth
floor of her apartment building,
Sunday morning, Elizabeth, her cane
Ellen McGrath Smith

Spelling Down

By Ellen McGrath Smith I wanted bad to advance to Washington, D. C.
I wanted to be anyone but me.
The nun who had trained me for the spelling bee
needed a ride, and I was so worried all the way across town
Paul Tran

I Want

By Paul Tran TO SAY IT PLAIN. He comes inside
without a sound. I shut the door

I should have never opened. My body
flips over on the bed like a coin
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