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Jennifer Bartlett

excerpt from “The Hindrances of a Householder”

By Jennifer Bartlett
Aracelis Girmay

excerpt from “The Black Maria”

By Aracelis Girmay
Clint Smith

There Is a Lake Here

By Clint Smith There is a lake here.
A lake the size of
outstretched arms. And no,
not the type of arms raised
Jeanann Verlee

Grease & Salt

By Jeanann Verlee I finish a small hot plate of grease & salt, & push the scraped-clean plate across the counter for someone else to scrub / this, I say I have paid for but it doesn't fit
Jee Leong Koh

Attribution

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

Violets

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