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Clint Smith

There Is a Lake Here

By Clint Smith There is a lake here.
A lake the size of
outstretched arms. And no,
not the type of arms raised
Taylor Johnson

Pennsylvania ave SE

By Taylor Johnson Bless the boys riding their bikes straight up, at midnight, touching,
if only briefly, holding, hands as they cross the light to Independence.
Bless them for from the side the one on the red bike looks like me
his redbrown hair loose against the late summer static heat.
Jee Leong Koh

Attribution

By Jee Leong Koh My grandfather said life was better under the British.
He was a man who begrudged his words but he did say this.

I was born after the British left
an alphabet in my house, the same book they left in school.
Rasheed Copeland

The Book of Silence

By Rasheed Copeland We learned
from the book
of our fathers’ silence
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

I Don’t Know Any Longer Why the Flags Are At Half-Staff

By Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib I think I am breaking up with memory. again. I live
by only that which will still allow me

to do the living. The flag, for example, reminds me
to either feel fear or sadness, depending on how high
Safia Elhillo

origin stories (reprise)

By Safia Elhillo i was born in the winter in 1990 in a country not my own
i was born with my father’s eyes maybe i stole them he
doesn’t look like that anymore i was born
in seven countries i was born carved up by borders
Sunu P. Chandy

Too Pretty

By 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
Hayes Davis

Saturday, 9:30am

By Hayes Davis After their hands are washed
After their utensils are chosen
After little brother needs help
After “Get back to the table!”
Bennie Herron

part 1…us as we are

By Bennie Herron i always thought
babies came from dancing
i owned every color of
corduroyed pants
Kyle G Dargan

Natural Causes

By Kyle Dargan Naturally, the gun is purchased from a farm in Virginia—pulled from a bushel of barrels
by a tremorous hand, a young man’s. His other fist proffers sweat-wilted dollars. The
farmer, compensated, keeps his gaze down as to remember nothing of the boy’s face.
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