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Allison Pitinii Davis

THE MOTEL CLERK’S SON DRIVES OUT TO CHECK ON BUSINESS, 1977

By Allison Pitinii Davis Before him, stickers fade across the bumper:
LAST ONE OUT OF TOWN, TURN OFF THE LIGHTS.
The last employer in Youngstown is the weather:
the truck behind him plows grey snow to the roadside
Marcos L. Martínez

2001 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA

By Marcos L. Martínez There are immeasurable ways to count days: on the median the sunflower tracks UV streams: east to west then sleep; an acorn gets weeded out of the common area ‘til another live oak drobs a bomb then sprouts till, yanked away again;
Tafisha A. Edwards

Your Rapist is on Paid Administrative Leave

By Tafisha A. Edwards 4. Your rapist has elected to continue receiving his bi-weekly paychecks via direct
deposit. Your rapist has elected not to cash out his 401K for fear of incurring
penalties. Your rapist recently called HR to review his health care coverage—
open enrollment will begin in a few short months and coverage options
are changing.
Taylor Johnson

The Transkid Explains Gentrification, Explains Themselves

By Taylor Johnson When I again take out more than I have available in my bank
account and I know I shouldn’t to make the rent
I am grateful and lucky to pay there is
a woman on the bus who is the mother or aunt or some loved one of
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.
Tanya Olson

what else

By Tanya Olson What else should I want. But to
be a boy. A boy. At his mother’s hip.
A boy between. His father
and the plow. A boy to remain.
What else.
Geffrey Davis

What I Mean When I Say Truck Driver

By Geffrey Davis During the last 50 miles back from haul & some
months past my 15th birthday, my father fishes
a stuffed polar bear from a Salvation Army
gift-bin, labeled Boys: 6-10. I can almost see him
Reginald Dwayne Betts

For the City that Nearly Broke Me

By Reginald Dwayne Betts A woman tattoos Malik’s name above
her breast & talks about the conspiracy
to destroy blacks. This is all a fancy way
to say that someone kirked out, emptied
David Ebenbach

Looking for a Job

By David Ebenbach What you want, at least, is the dignity
of a Sisyphus—you want to see yourself
on a hilltop, your muscles and hands
afire and chest roaring for breath, and
Hari Alluri

The Opposite of Holding in Breath—

By Hari Alluri the tea in her glass. It glows the brocade.
Her grandmother picked that tea
on a mountain—a mountain in a war
whose shores were her bed. Steeping, the petals
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