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Paul Tran

The Santa Ana

By Paul Tran Desert born. Wild
As corn. Dry
Bitch. Itchy clit.
Elizabeth Acevedo

In Translation

By Elizabeth Acevedo My mouth cannot write you a white flag.
It will never be a Bible verse.
My mouth cannot be shaped into the apology
Sonia Sanchez

Aaaayeee Babo (Praise God)

By Sonia Sanchez There are women sailing the sky
I walk between them
They who wear silk, muslin and burlap skins touching mine
They who dance between urine and violets
Ellen Bass


By Ellen Bass Today is gray, drizzling,
but not enough for drops to pool
on the tips of the silver needles
or soak the bark of the pines at Ponary—
Destiny O. Birdsong

To the Black Virgin Mary on a Steeple in Greensburg, PA

By Destiny O. Birdsong Or maybe you weren’t. Whenever I’m frightened,
anything can become a black woman in a granite dress:
scaffold for what’s to come: blue lights exploding
like an aurora at the base of the bridge;
Claire Hermann


By Claire Hermann God separated the light from the darkness,
but I have a light switch.
Once there was morning and evening,
but now someone has torn the heart out of a mountain,
Rajiv Mohabir


By Rajiv Mohabir A twist of cotton
daubed in oil
catches flame, an echo
Nesha Ruther


By Nesha Ruther L’chaim to my rabbi who gets red in the face during prayer
and sings off-tune
we can always hear him.
Purvi Shah

Saraswati praises your name even when you have no choice

By Purvi Shah You had a name no one
could hold between their
teeth. So they pronounced


By Anastacia-Renee the cedar tree could not comprehend
the crime could not comprehend a leaning
a lynching a love gone wrong
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