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Kenji Liu

Elegy for Kimani Gray

By Kenji Liu Sharp tenure of boots in this callow country
grown from open skulls. A raw harvest of bullet casings
arranged in a perfect ring around you,
Patricia Monaghan

Loaded

By Patricia Monaghan They were always taught that all guns were loaded.
It was a way, he said, to keep them safe.
Don't you notice, he said, how people get shot
Samiya Bashir

Manistee Lights

By Samiya Bashir Brother I don't either understand this
skipscrapple world that is--these
slick bubble cars zip feverish down
Jamaal May

Pomegranate Means Grenade

By Jamaal May Hold a pomegranate in your palm,
imagine ways to split it, think of the breaking
skin as shrapnel. Remember granada
Richard Blanco

Looking for The Gulf Motel

By Richard Blanco The Gulf Motel with mermaid lampposts
and ship's wheel in the lobby should still be
rising out of the sand like a cake decoration.
Jonathan B. Tucker

The Sign

By Jonathan B. Tucker pardon our appearance
as we grow to better serve you
says the sign on the fence

Congo

By Lauryn Nesbitt As long as you wake up everyday you should have
no reason to complain, right
i guess if i'm still breathing then i'm not really
Renée Olander

Rhinos Got No Luck

By Renée Ellen Olander Yesterday, a ten-year old newcomer to a zoo
Fought her new mate, broke
Out of her cage, and galumphed
Marc A. Drexler

2nd Grader Killed by Stray Bullet

By Marc A. Drexler children in
certain neighborhoods
should know better than to
sit by a window
Sheila Black

Rosary for my Brace

By Sheila Black The brace was metal, and it fastened around the ankles.
Outside in the street there was the beggar with elephantiasis; there was
the leper, the neighbor with eyes milky blind,
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