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Reuben Jackson

April 1975

By Reuben Jackson Should my black
Flatlander eyes
Lock on the other
Christopher Soto

THE AESTHETICS OF SUFFERING

By Christopher Soto I’m his // retired slut // on food stamps // forever
Sniffing horse tranquilizer // seeing digital dreams
Like a kitten // with eyes sewn shut // like syzygy
Esther Lin

Spratly and Paracel

By Esther Lin After learning his appointment was canceled
and his senior bus won’t come for another two
hours my father calls from his waiting room
Wo Chan

my mother watches her mother’s funeral footage again

By Wo Chan She closed the doors
and then the blinds
and then her face, midday.
José B. González

English Words

By José B. González my mouth agape for these english words made of stone
their sharpness could split my tongue, but one by one
i’ll use them to build a wall, one by one
Ellen Kombiyil

Deported

By Ellen Kombiyil We are on the plane now
crossing ocean. The pressurized
air is sweet not stale never
stale, the cabin set for
Purvi Shah

Shooting for the Sky

By Purvi Shah Under sky massaged by sun, from a comfortable chair, I watch
the rain stroke a myrtle tree. Naked
rain, my father says. Naked,
Aracelis Girmay

YOU ARE WHO I LOVE

By Aracelis Girmay You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats
Richard Blanco

Declaration of Inter-Dependence

By Richard Blanco Such has been the patient sufferance...
We're a mother's bread, instant potatoes, milk at checkout line; her three children pleading for bubble gum and their father. We're the three minutes she steals to page a tabloid, needing to believe even stars' lives are as joyful and bruised.
Kathy Engel

Ode To What We Make

By Kathy Engel Praise the words and what
defies words, the mamas and
fathers, all the beloveds
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