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Sholeh Wolpé

How Hard Is It to Write a Love Song?

By Sholeh Wolpé Last night a sparrow flew into my house,
crashed against the skylight and died:
I want to write a love song.
Dunya Mikhail

The Iraqi Nights, Section 7

By Dunya Mikhail In Iraq,
after a thousand and one nights,
someone will talk to someone else.
Markets will open
for regular customers.
Amal Al-Jubouri

Baghdad Before the Occupation

By Amal Al-Jubouri —My solitude, to which I always returned
City that kept my secret religion in her libraries

I came back to rest my head on her shoulder
and with just one look, she saw how tired I was
Zeina Azzam

Leaving My Childhood Home

By Zeina Azzam On our last day in Beirut
with my ten years packed in a suitcase,
my best friend asked for a keepsake.
I found a little tin box
Hala Alyan

Bandits

By Hala Alyan You were mama’s; first and only boy, sable eyelashes long as an ostrich. Operatic, I claimed baba, his books and his sulk, first of the unrequited loves. What we took we took unasked.
Elexia Alleyne

The Love for My Culture

By Elexia Alleyne Maybe it’s the Spanish running through my veins
That’s the only way I know how to explain it
Maybe it’s the r’s rrrolling off my tongue
See,
Darrel Alejandro Holnes

Angelitos Negros

By Darrel Alejandro Holnes In the film, both parents are Mexicans as white as
a Gitano’s bolero sung by an indigena accompanied by the Moor’s guitar
bleached by this American continent’s celluloid in 1948
when in America the world’s colors were polarized into black & blanco.
Lauren K. Alleyne

Self Portrait with NeoNazi Demonstration

By Lauren K. Alleyne Just like that the day is black
and blue, bruised with hate.
Just like that my skin, black
as fine leather stretches so tight
Caits Meissner

13 Hours in the Future

By Caits Meissner I am 13 hours in the future & it is night / the rain is holding her breath
my friend, isn’t Penang opening to us! / a lotus unveiling a carnival
the paper lanterns are skirts / or balls pushed along by tiger’s nose
our smoke is a canon / dare devil on its way to an unnamed star
Alison Roh Park

My Father’s Hands

By Alison Roh Park My daddy's hands were scarred
and through the smallest details escaped
years ago I remember them a strong
brown like here is the axe that missed
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