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Seema Reza

Quartering

By Seema Reza When the soldier knocks on your door, billet book in hand, move aside
to let him enter. He will wipe his feet, remove his hat
(you’ll learn to call it a cover)
he will be polite, place his rifle by the door
Danielle Badra

We are not reconciled to the oppressors who whet their howl on our grief.

By Danielle Badra We are not born to be barons of wealth. We
are soft spoken wordsmiths, not soldiers. We are
not broken by hardship or hate. We are not
John James

Spaghetti Western

By John James In Georgetown, IN, the steel projector reels.
The desert stretches blankly before us, a red
plain constellated with rows of dry mesquite.
Javier Zamora

from The Book I Made with a Counselor My First Week of School

By 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.”
Hieu Minh Nguyen

POLITICS OF AN ELEGY

By Hieu Minh Nguyen If things happen
the way they are supposed to
my mother will die before me.
Caits Meissner

Loving the Enemy

By Caits Meissner of course there were gaps I kept my eyes
shuddered up my curiosities strapped
amnesia on as a mask but only the dead do not dream.
Aricka Foreman

Dream Coated with Fluoxetine

By Aricka Foreman When the hollow grows thick, she prescribes
20 mg to take every morning for four to five days,
then increase as tolerated. Take it with fish oil and
a book of artificial light, try not to repeat the question.
Sylvia Beato

a good woman would never

By Sylvia Beato for years you told no one
how you cried yourself to sleep
after the doctor held your hand

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
Wo Chan

my mother watches her mother’s funeral footage again

By Wo Chan She closed the doors
and then the blinds
and then her face, midday.
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