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Purvi Shah

Saraswati praises your name even when you have no choice

By Purvi Shah You had a name no one
could hold between their
teeth. So they pronounced
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

Barbara Costas-Biggs

Naked in the Macy’s Changing Room Trying to Think of Anything Other Than the Election

By Barbara Costas-Biggs Before I was grown and called lovers
lovers. Before I was a mother and called
momma. Before I considered myself anything
Reuben Jackson

April 1975

By Reuben Jackson Should my black
Flatlander eyes
Lock on the other
Tara Betts

F.U.B.U.

By Tara Betts I am sitting in a café with my boy
that I have known longer than my
students have been alive, before the birth
Anastacia-Renee

Cedar

By Anastacia-Renee the cedar tree could not comprehend
the crime could not comprehend a leaning
a lynching a love gone wrong
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
Joseph Ross

When Your Word Is a Match

By Joseph Ross When you walk past Klans-
men, smiling at you
on your way into the court
house, wondering how
Fred Joiner

Currency

By Fred Joiner a pocket can sometimes be
a kind of prison,

I have never lived in
Esther Lin

Spratly and Paracel

By 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
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