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Heather Derr-Smith

Iraqi-Style Fish Shop, Damascus

By Heather Derr-Smith The fish are opened up like salad bowls,
Slid between the metal bars of baskets,
Roasted in the wood-fired ovens, Iraqi style.
The flesh glows as if it were made of glass.
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Above the Thin Shell of the World

By Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello I fell in love with a North Korean
by falling asleep on his shoulder
in a South Korean subway.
Rasheed Copeland

The Book of Silence

By Rasheed Copeland We learned
from the book
of our fathers’ silence
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
Safia Elhillo

origin stories (reprise)

By Safia Elhillo i was born in the winter in 1990 in a country not my own
i was born with my father’s eyes maybe i stole them he
doesn’t look like that anymore i was born
in seven countries i was born carved up by borders
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.
Tafisha A. Edwards

Your Rapist is on Paid Administrative Leave

By Tafisha A. Edwards 4. Your rapist has elected to continue receiving his bi-weekly paychecks via direct
deposit. Your rapist has elected not to cash out his 401K for fear of incurring
penalties. Your rapist recently called HR to review his health care coverage—
open enrollment will begin in a few short months and coverage options
are changing.
Sunu P. Chandy

Too Pretty

By Sunu P. Chandy October on the subway, roses at my side
kids being loud. One skinny girl
with a cap and a pretty smile
gets up to give me her seat
Hayes Davis

Saturday, 9:30am

By Hayes Davis After their hands are washed
After their utensils are chosen
After little brother needs help
After “Get back to the table!”
Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Drought

By Teri Ellen Cross Davis When you were inside me I could feel you thrive
your rounded kicks, my body your taut drum.
Now I beat these breasts, betrayed by a landscape
that wilts, a place where even tears won’t come.
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