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JP Howard black women we be trying to hold worlds
on our backs, in our hearts without fail
some days we fail at perfection
Sylvia Beato for years you told no one
how you cried yourself to sleep
after the doctor held your hand
Julie Enszer to the place where the idea
of being a pinko commie dyke
first entered her mind,
Pat Parker (d.) I wish I could be
the lover you want
Minal Hajratwala Your rage is pomegranates spilling open on ice, is the flute’s thin silver seam, is a volcano spitting rivulets of fire to wash clean these corrupt lands.
Sarah Sansolo You wear the faded muslin—
did it begin yours or mine?
Everything we have is both.
Everything we are is both,
Sunu P. Chandy October on the subway, roses at my side
kids being loud. One skinny girl
with a cap and a pretty smile
gets up to give me her seat
Tanya Olson What else should I want. But to
be a boy. A boy. At his mother’s hip.
A boy between. His father
and the plow. A boy to remain.
Niki Herd the black body found
next door near the house where
the blind girl lived
Bettina Judd Lucy didn’t scream like most. Though sometimes she
would moan--deep, long and overdue. I’d wake
thinking death. It’s her, knees curled under, head face
down, her body trying to move out of itself. Anarcha