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Elizabeth Acevedo My mouth cannot write you a white flag.
It will never be a Bible verse.
My mouth cannot be shaped into the apology
Dan Vera A is for apple.
B is for banana – treasure fruit of the tropics
which replaced the apple on the breakfast table of Victorian America.
C is for Carmen Miranda smiling
Javier Zamora His grandma made the best pupusas, the counselor wrote next to Stick-Figure Abuelita
(I’d colored her puffy hair black with a pen).
Earlier, Dad in his truck: “always look gringos in the eyes.”
Mom: “never tell them everything, but smile, always smile.”
Ruth Irupé Sanabria My grandfather asked me: could I remember
him, the park, the birds, the bread?
I’ll be dying soon, he said.
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Like light but
in reverse we billow.
We turn a corner
and make the hills
Sylvia Beato for years you told no one
how you cried yourself to sleep
after the doctor held your hand
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
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
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
Richard Blanco Such has been the patient sufferance...
We're a mother's bread, instant potatoes, milk at checkout line; her three children pleading for bubble gum and their father. We're the three minutes she steals to page a tabloid, needing to believe even stars' lives are as joyful and bruised.