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Allison Pitinii Davis

THE MOTEL CLERK’S SON DRIVES OUT TO CHECK ON BUSINESS, 1977

By Allison Pitinii Davis Before him, stickers fade across the bumper:
LAST ONE OUT OF TOWN, TURN OFF THE LIGHTS.
The last employer in Youngstown is the weather:
the truck behind him plows grey snow to the roadside
Marcos L. Martínez

2001 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA

By Marcos L. Martínez There are immeasurable ways to count days: on the median the sunflower tracks UV streams: east to west then sleep; an acorn gets weeded out of the common area ‘til another live oak drobs a bomb then sprouts till, yanked away again;
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
Lauren K. Alleyne

Heaven?

By Lauren K. Alleyne Where does a black girl go
when her body is emptied `
Of her? And her wild voice,
where does it sing its story
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.
Jennifer Maritza McCauley

Old Blood

By Jennifer Maritza McCauley Before they tell us how to look
at our kilt brothers' bodies:

Tell them we already know how to see ‘em.
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
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