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Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Above the Thin Shell of the World

By Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello I fell in love with a North Korean
by falling asleep on his shoulder
in a South Korean subway.
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

I Don’t Know Any Longer Why the Flags Are At Half-Staff

By Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib I think I am breaking up with memory. again. I live
by only that which will still allow me

to do the living. The flag, for example, reminds me
to either feel fear or sadness, depending on how high
Oliver Baez Bendorf

solidarity work :: imperfection

By Oliver Baez Bendorf The new perfection is imperfection.
I’m striving for it in all things great and small.
Stray from the recipe. Hit send. Risk it.
Leave the art a little crooked on the wall.
Pamela Alexander

Makers

By Pamela Alexander We didn’t waste them. We used the trees
to build, to burn. Some jungles
got in our way, and animals, especially bears.
Denice Frohman

The Hour Dylann Roof Sat In The Church

By Denice Frohman By now, you know their names, their cheekbones—
the tender hands they offered when you walked in.

You know the quivering strength of prayer and the art of making God listen.
How faith can summon weary backbones into pyramids.
Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano

God Is Brown

By Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano Brown is the color of my god’s skin.
Gentle, curvy, older than a Spanish whip.
My god abides outside of sin,
no water needed to baptize the newly born.
Bennie Herron

part 1…us as we are

By Bennie Herron i always thought
babies came from dancing
i owned every color of
corduroyed pants
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
Mahogany L. Browne

the best time

By Mahogany L. Browne the best time i had as a teenager
included a bottle of cisco and a sideshow
at the uptown gas station.
after Kenny’s body was bludgeoned by his girlfriend & her two brothers
Ellen Hagan

What We Do—Now

By Ellen Hagan We mourn, we bless,
we blow, we wail, we
wind—down, we sip,
we spin, we blind, we
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