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Amanda Gorman There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
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;
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
Susan Eisenberg for my asthma inhaler that
last year cost fifteen
I pause for the mom
Lauren Camp The soup cooks for an hour while vultures and buzzards pluck the market.
My father wipes his forehead with a white cloth.
Once, each day began with khubz and samoon
Wo Chan She closed the doors
and then the blinds
and then her face, midday.
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
Ellen Kombiyil We are on the plane now
crossing ocean. The pressurized
air is sweet not stale never
stale, the cabin set for
Purvi Shah Under sky massaged by sun, from a comfortable chair, I watch
the rain stroke a myrtle tree. Naked
rain, my father says. Naked,