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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.
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
Kyle G Dargan

Natural Causes

By Kyle Dargan Naturally, the gun is purchased from a farm in Virginia—pulled from a bushel of barrels
by a tremorous hand, a young man’s. His other fist proffers sweat-wilted dollars. The
farmer, compensated, keeps his gaze down as to remember nothing of the boy’s face.
Taylor Johnson

The Transkid Explains Gentrification, Explains Themselves

By Taylor Johnson When I again take out more than I have available in my bank
account and I know I shouldn’t to make the rent
I am grateful and lucky to pay there is
a woman on the bus who is the mother or aunt or some loved one of
Gordon Cash

And Still They Come (for Dr. Sue)

By Gordon Cash You scream your bullhorn lies, intimidate,
Harass, respect no law of man. You speak
Of scalpels, sutures, and sterility,
Dismemberment, death by regret, all lies,
And bear false witness with each one against

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