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Ellen Bass

Witnesses

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—
Javier Zamora

from The Book I Made with a Counselor My First Week of School

By Javier Zamora His grandma made the best pupusas, the counselor wrote next to Stick-Figure Abuelita
(I’d colored her puffy hair black with a pen).

Earlier, Dad in his truck: “always look gringos in the eyes.”
Mom: “never tell them everything, but smile, always smile.”
Sally Wen Mao

Aubade with Gravel and Gold

By Sally Wen Mao I’m sick of speaking for women who’ve died
Their stories and their disappearances
bludgeon me in my sleep
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Water & Salt

By Lena Khalaf Tuffaha Behind the walls of your jails we wait
heartbeats audible now, muffled thuds
above the current of blood running thin
Amanda Gorman

In This Place (An American Lyric)

By Amanda Gorman There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

This Is What Makes Us Worlds

By Joshua Jennifer Espinoza Like light but
in reverse we billow.
We turn a corner
and make the hills
Anastacia-Renee

Cedar

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

As If Hearing Heavy Furniture Moved on the Floor Above Us

By Jane Hirshfield As things grow rarer, they enter the ranges of counting.
Remain this many Siberian tigers,
that many African elephants. Three hundred red egrets.
Esther Lin

Spratly and Paracel

By Esther Lin After learning his appointment was canceled
and his senior bus won’t come for another two
hours my father calls from his waiting room
Pat Parker (d.)

love isn’t

By Pat Parker (d.) I wish I could be
the lover you want
come joyful
bear brightness
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