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Edward Salem

Exile’s Terrarium

By Edward Salem I’d planned a sculpture called
Getting Home, built from
my land in Palestine—
soil, shrubbery, stones,
an entire olive tree

chopped and dissected
into shippable parts
and air mailed in boxes
to my home in Detroit.
Johnson Cheu

Becky Declines Barbie’s Dinner Invitation

By Johnson Cheu I should have figured as much.
After all, it took over thirty years
to realize Barbie’s Malibu
convertible isn’t accident-proof.
Ariana Benson

goniurellia tridens

By Ariana Benson a week before I left the sinking city, I read
about a fruit fly with decoy ants on its wings—
an evolutionary adaptation, bred
evidence of what happens when a species clings

so desperately to life that it makes for itself
Rose Zinnia

(Reassignment)

By Rose Zinnia a trick
of light
a sleight
of hand
a contused
grammar
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
Gisselle Yepes

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MOURN MEN WHO HAVE NOT TRIED TO KILL ME

By Gisselle Yepes And in twenty-five days, we make a year without
Tio Freddy alive, without his flesh inhaling
cigarettes or bud once filled with wind
like that winter after Wela died, the only winter
we got with him here, we walked
every time we linked
downstairs to smoke, to watch the trees
mirror our empty.
Noor Hindi

The World’s Loneliest Whale Sings the Loudest Song

By Noor Hindi I won’t make metaphors out of fish. If I have to die, I choose the ocean. If I have to live, I choose you. You: Everyone I’ve ever mourned. I believe less & less of sunlight these days. I won’t die alone. To awaken crying is to awaken displaced. Ghost of your joy in the bathtub. A face in the mirror. Your nephew’s painting in the foyer.
Siaara Freeman

The Such Thing As the Ridiculous Question –

By Siaara Freeman When I say ancestors, let’s be clear:
I mean slaves. I’m talkin’ Tennessee
cotton & Louisiana suga. I mean grave dirt.
David James “DJ” Savarese

Swoon

By David James "DJ" Savarese The ear that hears the cardinal
hears in red;

the eye that spots the salmon
Travis Chi Wing Lau

Pithy

By Travis Chi Wing Lau I shrug off my messenger onto the floor and forget to kiss you when I walk through the door.
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