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Doritt Carroll the first time it happened
i thought i was being strangled
four fingers compressing each side of my throat
Rasheed Copeland It took us this long to slow our dying
down to a languid and sensible pace
wherein the sugar might claim each our limbs
Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez I wake up to the alarm clocks
of cocks & gallinas struggling
for their corner of the callejón.
on the preheated concrete.
Camisha Jones What you know bout ballin'
your every fiber into a tight fist,
letting the naps of history
that birthed you unfurl
Destiny O. Birdsong Or maybe you weren’t. Whenever I’m frightened,
anything can become a black woman in a granite dress:
scaffold for what’s to come: blue lights exploding
like an aurora at the base of the bridge;
Claire Hermann God separated the light from the darkness,
but I have a light switch.
Once there was morning and evening,
but now someone has torn the heart out of a mountain,
Alan King The diner's nearly empty
when you both arrive - except for
the six or so other patrons and
a waitress who calls everyone "Hun".
Remica Bingham-Risher I am almost convinced this morning by the volley
of verses on each frequency, roughnecks telling it
like they want it to be, intoning You bad, baby
Truth Thomas There are fists making tom toms of eardrums,
boots kicking downbeats in skulls,
in every state of tinted circles.
Fred Joiner a pocket can sometimes be
a kind of prison,
I have never lived in