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Sherwin Bitsui Father's dying ceased
when he refunded this ours
for fused hands plaster-coated
Ella Jaya Sran to the screams.
to the glass-shattering pleas for life
that no one but they can hear.
to the wooden desks that were my sanctuary
Jonathan Mendoza Example: I place my hand in a pool of salt.
Some stays. Some seeps into my skin.
Everything goes exactly where it’s supposed to.
Ashley M. Jones Don’t need lawyers
when you split a body in two
on the highway—
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.
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
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
Ellen Bass Today is gray, drizzling,
but not enough for drops to pool
on the tips of the silver needles
or soak the bark of the pines at Ponary—
Javier Zamora His grandma made the best pupusas, the counselor wrote next to Stick-Figure Abuelita
(I’d colored her puffy hair black with a pen).
Earlier, Dad in his truck: “always look gringos in the eyes.”
Mom: “never tell them everything, but smile, always smile.”
Sally Wen Mao I’m sick of speaking for women who’ve died
Their stories and their disappearances
bludgeon me in my sleep