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sam sax

impermanence

By sam sax sometimes i wonder what happens to people’s hands when they disappear
in their pockets. of course, my rational brain knows they go on being hands
but there’s still the question. i wonder if object permanence isn’t the biggest
trick of them all, a scam, a way to ground the brain in its thin bath of liquid
Ely Shipley

Six

By Ely Shipley The neck of the guitar stretches
out, every other fret painted with a sharp
dot or dash, flash after flash

of reflected light, marble or pearl, the shape
of a fingerprint, ...
Tara Hardy

THE NINE

By Tara Hardy They call it dissociation.
I call it THE NINE (children)
who live inside me.
Each of them encased
in amber, frozen in a mosquito-pose
Cynthia Guardado

Waiting for a Greyhound Bus at the Los Angeles Station

By Cynthia Guardado A black woman stands with two toddlers hanging off her hips.
Her balance is perfect as she pushes her luggage with one leg,

the boys curl into her shoulders unaware of how
they all slide forward. I offer her my help. Her face is serious
Mai Der Vang

Final Dispatch from Laos

By Mai Der Vang Concerning our hollow breasts,
Lice factions multiplying in our hair.

Concerning our unused stomachs,
Molars waiting to chew, taste buds
Terisa Siagatonu

The Day After American Samoa Is Under Water

By Terisa Siagatonu The evening news helicopters compete for the best camera angle
above the water, fighting to find anything worthy of coverage.

A floating high chief. A baby’s arm flattened by a coconut tree. Anything.
Even the Titanic was enormous enough to leave remnants of itself
Solmaz Sharif

Dear INTELLIGENCE JOURNAL,

By Solmaz Sharif Lovely dinner party. Darling CASUALTIES and lean
sirloin DAMAGE of the COLLATERAL sort.
Extended my LETTER OF OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE
to the DESIRED INTERNAL AUDIENCE, reaching
Ilya Kaminsky

That Map of Bone and Opened Valves

By Ilya Kaminsky I watched a sergeant aim, the deaf boy take iron and fire in his mouth—
his face on the asphalt,
that map of bone and opened valves.
It’s the air. Something in the air wants us too much
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.”
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