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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 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 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 My grandfather asked me: could I remember
him, the park, the birds, the bread?
I’ll be dying soon, he said.
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