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Joy Harjo Harjo opens her performance with an honor song, followed by the poem.
Sheila Maldonado you come from greatness
you are the descendant of great kings
Rosa Chávez Ri oj ab'aj xkoj qetal ruk'a k'atanalaj ch'ich'
Xk'at ri qab'aq'wach //
Las piedras fuimos marcadas con hierro candente
quemados nuestros ojos //
We, stones, were branded by hot iron
our eyes scorched
Rachel Eliza Griffiths I remember the boys & their open hands. High fives
of farewell. I remember that the birches waved too,
the white jagged limbs turning away from incessant wildfires
Sam Taylor And someone in a field found an old car
from the year black with beetles, eaten like lace,
and the sky fell into it, a private thing.
And everyone had a kitchen or a fold-out bed
Danez Smith I am sick of writing this poem
but bring the boy. his new name
his same old body. ordinary, black
dead thing. bring him & we will mourn
Constance Norgren Who is she, standing just off-center,
her eyes on us, caught turning to us,
her arms folded over her chest,
Saeed Jones All throat now already brighter than the stars.
I could hold you in my song. Sotto voce, tremble
against me: a breeze slips in, cools my blood