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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
Kim Roberts

The International Fruit of Welcome

By Kim Roberts
Myra Sklarew

Exchange

By Myra Sklarew
Lee Sharkey

Man on a Sofa

By Lee Sharkey A man is lying on a sofa.

The man has been reading.

He has laid down the book beside him.

The man's form is waiting to be occupied.
Ross Gay

A Small Needful Fact

By Ross Gay Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
Kim Roberts

PROTANDRIC

By Kim Roberts Oysters may look to us
like wet floppy tongues,

but there’s no licking.
There’s no touching.
Julie Enszer

Zyklon B

By Julie Enszer The painters call before we move into the new house. Ma’am, they say—

I am not old enough to be a ma’am, but I don’t correct them—
Ma’am, they say, we smell gas.

I dismiss their concern. I say, Keep painting.

Joshua Weiner

Hikmet: Çankiri Prison, 1938

By Joshua Weiner Today is Sunday.
Today, for the first time, they let me go out into the sun.
And I stood there I didn't move,
struck for the first time, the very first time ever:
Karen Skolfield

Art Project: Earth

By Karen Skolfield Balloon, then papier mâché.
Gray paint, blue and turquoise, green,
a clouded world with fishing line attached
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

First Morning Poem

By Allison Adelle Hedge Coke In a room facing chimneys
over the place Nancy Morejón rests
between sleeps lining free lines
she whispers to hearing DC:
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