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Kit Yan

At the Medicaid Office

By Kit Yan They are giving out Turkeys at the Public Assistance office,
Wrapped in plastic,
The legs folded in, balled for convenience,
You must have had to write your name on a raffle ticket,
I came too late to see the process.
Shauna M. Morgan

how to make her stay

By Shauna M. Morgan tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent

tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
Yona Harvey

The River Wanderer

By Yona Harvey There was a river turned to Goddess. Was kin to river turned to Flame.

As a child I dreamt that river. None could keep me from that vision.

They lowered me in the Mighty Waters. Lowered me in the Creek of Shame.
Frank X Walker

Talking in Tongues

By Frank X Walker We knew to tiptoe quietly
if mama was on the land line
using her full lips to parse out
each syllable, carefully measuring
her words as if they were being
eye-balled and weighed
on the other end.
sam sax

impermanence

By sam sax sometimes i wonder what happens to people’s hands when they disappear
in their pockets. of course, my rational brain knows they go on being hands
but there’s still the question. i wonder if object permanence isn’t the biggest
trick of them all, a scam, a way to ground the brain in its thin bath of liquid
Kay Ulanday Barrett

Aunties love it when seafood is on sale

By Kay Ulanday Barrett In summertime, the women
in my family spin sagoo
like planets, make
even saturn blush.
Raquel Salas Rivera

desahucio / eviction

By Raquel Salas Rivera los blancos en sus casas lloran
porque han tenido que desahuciar a sus huéspedes.
los apellidos y las propiedades lloran
porque han quemado los títulos de propiedad
de los gusanos.

***
the whites cry in their houses
because they’ve had to evict the guests.
the last names and the properties cry
because they’ve burned
the worms’ deeds.
Laurie Ann Guerrero

ARS POLITICA: HOW TO MAKE ART

By Laurie Ann Guerrero You must start small as our mothers were small,
our fathers, too, small.

In a pillowcase whip-stitched with roses
or in an old coffee can, collect your abuelos’

teeth; assure them you will not bury them
near the bones of the dog that froze
Tara Hardy

THE NINE

By Tara Hardy They call it dissociation.
I call it THE NINE (children)
who live inside me.
Each of them encased
in amber, frozen in a mosquito-pose
Doritt Carroll

intermittent apnea of unknown causation

By Doritt Carroll the first time it happened
i thought i was being strangled
four fingers compressing each side of my throat
no air
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