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Sharon Olds

Calvinist Parents

By Sharon Olds They put roofs over our heads.
Ours was made of bent tiles,
so the edge of the roof had a broken look,
Elizabeth Acevedo

In Translation

By Elizabeth Acevedo My mouth cannot write you a white flag.
It will never be a Bible verse.
My mouth cannot be shaped into the apology
Camille T. Dungy

Frequently Asked Questions: #7

By Camille T. Dungy Is it difficult to get away from it all once you've had a child?


I am swaying in the galley — working

to appease this infant who is not
Ilya Kaminsky

That Map of Bone and Opened Valves

By Ilya Kaminsky I watched a sergeant aim, the deaf boy take iron and fire in his mouth—
his face on the asphalt,
that map of bone and opened valves.
It’s the air. Something in the air wants us too much
Heather Derr-Smith

Gouge

By Heather Derr-Smith One man said there are hundreds
of delicate articulated bones
in the human head. So don’t let it
get punched. Easier said than done.
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.”
Ruth Irupé Sanabria

Distance

By Ruth Irupé Sanabria My grandfather asked me: could I remember
him, the park, the birds, the bread?
I’ll be dying soon, he said.
Amanda Gorman

In This Place (An American Lyric)

By 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

To the Black Virgin Mary on a Steeple in Greensburg, PA

By 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 Journey

By 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".
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