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Tanya Olson

what else

By Tanya Olson What else should I want. But to
be a boy. A boy. At his mother’s hip.
A boy between. His father
and the plow. A boy to remain.
What else.
Martha Collins

Race/Race

By Martha Collins stock strain family line

breed blood skin shape


of the head of the pack
Charlie Bondhus

A Car, A Man, A Maraca

By Charlie Bondhus At the mirror I heft
elbows, belly, cock,
say hematocrit—44.3; hemoglobin—15.2;
neutrophils—62; monocytes—5.
David Ebenbach

Looking for a Job

By David Ebenbach What you want, at least, is the dignity
of a Sisyphus—you want to see yourself
on a hilltop, your muscles and hands
afire and chest roaring for breath, and
Karen Skolfield

At the Mall, There’s a Machine That Tells You If You Are Racist

By Karen Skolfield It's right next to a Polariod booth.
The instructions say the needles are small
and barely felt. The pictures, it explains,
have nudity, but no gratuitous nudity.
Susanna Lang

Kitchen, Donetsk

By Susanna Lang She had planned to offer peaches with the tea.

August was warm; the fruit had ripened to perfection.

She’d placed two paring knives on the cutting board,
set out the teapot with nasturtiums painted on the side.
Karen Finneyfrock

The Newer Colossus

By Karen Finneyfrock My feet have been wilting in this salt-crusted cement
since the French sent me over on a steamer in pieces.
I am the new Colossus, wonder of the modern world,
a woman standing watch at the gate of power.
Leslie Anne Mcilroy

forge [fawrj, fohrj]

By Leslie Anne Mcilroy (1) to form by heating and hammering; beat into shape, as in the child’s back
burning, shoulders of flame, ribs of shame till she is no longer what she
was, but what you want her to be; 2) to form or make, especially by
concentrated effort, as in pride, see the girl, my girl, take credit, look what I
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
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