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John James

Spaghetti Western

By John James In Georgetown, IN, the steel projector reels.
The desert stretches blankly before us, a red
plain constellated with rows of dry mesquite.
Paulette Beete

Still Life with Bullets

By Paulette Beete Orlando Jones, a black actor, douses himself
in a bucket of bullets. I flinch. Bullet against
brown skin even without the bruised and
busted aftermath is no easy thing to bear.
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
Dan Vera

Abecedarian Yellow

By Dan Vera A is for apple.
B is for banana – treasure fruit of the tropics
which replaced the apple on the breakfast table of Victorian America.
C is for Carmen Miranda smiling
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
Solmaz Sharif

Dear INTELLIGENCE JOURNAL,

By Solmaz Sharif Lovely dinner party. Darling CASUALTIES and lean
sirloin DAMAGE of the COLLATERAL sort.
Extended my LETTER OF OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE
to the DESIRED INTERNAL AUDIENCE, reaching
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
Sonia Sanchez

Aaaayeee Babo (Praise God)

By Sonia Sanchez There are women sailing the sky
I walk between them
They who wear silk, muslin and burlap skins touching mine
They who dance between urine and violets
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.
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