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Danez Smith

juxtaposing the black boy & the bullet

By Danez Smith one is hard & the other tried to be
one is fast & the other was faster
one is loud & one is a song
Tess Taylor

Eighteenth Century Remains

By Tess Taylor The ridge a half mile down from Monticello.
A pit cut deeper than the plow line.
Archaeologists plot the dig by scanning
Jennifer Perrine

A Theory of Violence

By Jennifer Perrine Under the surface of this winter lake,
I can still hear him say you're on thin ice
now, my heel grabbed, dragged into the opaque
Amaranth Borsuk

Character Anatomy

By Amaranth Borsuk Few things the hand wished language could
do, given up on dialect's downward spiral:
words so readily betray things they're meant
Kenji Liu

Elegy for Kimani Gray

By Kenji Liu Sharp tenure of boots in this callow country
grown from open skulls. A raw harvest of bullet casings
arranged in a perfect ring around you,
Samiya Bashir

Manistee Lights

By Samiya Bashir Brother I don't either understand this
skipscrapple world that is--these
slick bubble cars zip feverish down
Heather Holliger

Margins

By Heather Holliger She and I, our silences,
hesitations--at the grocery store,
in the taxi, on the street.
Solmaz Sharif

Mess Hall

By Solmaz Sharif Your knives tip down
in the dish rack
of the replica plantation home
Cathy Linh Che

Split

By Cathy Lihn Che I see my mother at thirteen
in a village so small,
it's never given a name.
Judith Arcana

Can Safety Matches Make Us Safe?

By Judith Arcana You read the tiny cardboard book before
you scratch the strip under Augie's New Pizza
on the back of MIA:We still don't know
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