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Holly Karapetkova

Song of the Exiles

By Holly Karapetkova There never was a garden
only a leaving:
miles and miles
of footprints in the dirt.
Heather Derr-Smith

Iraqi-Style Fish Shop, Damascus

By Heather Derr-Smith The fish are opened up like salad bowls,
Slid between the metal bars of baskets,
Roasted in the wood-fired ovens, Iraqi style.
The flesh glows as if it were made of glass.
Jee Leong Koh


By Jee Leong Koh My grandfather said life was better under the British.
He was a man who begrudged his words but he did say this.

I was born after the British left
an alphabet in my house, the same book they left in school.
Patrick Rosal


By Patrick Rosal A brisk sunset walk home: Lafayette Ave.
After weeks straight of triple layers
and double gloves, the day has inched
Imani Cezanne


By Imani Cezanne There is no moment when I am more reminded of my Blackness
than when I am at an airport walking through TSA
The Security Administration
Whose job it is to keep the planes from terrorism
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.
Craig Santos Perez

Twinkle, Twinkle, Morning Star

By Craig Santos Perez kaikainaliʻi wakes from her late afternoon nap
and reaches for nālani with small open hands—

count how many papuan children
still reach for their disappeared parents—
Rachel Eliza Griffiths

dear America

By Rachel Eliza Griffiths I pick you up
& you are a child made of longing
clasped to my neck. Iridescent,
lovely, your inestimable tantrums,
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
Karen Finneyfrock

The Newer Colossus

By Karen Finneyfrock My feet have been wilting in this salt-crusted cement
since the French sent me over on a steamer in pieces.
I am the new Colossus, wonder of the modern world,
a woman standing watch at the gate of power.
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