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Safia Elhillo

In Memory of Kamau Brathwaite

By Safia Elhillo i sat by the lake & ate five tiny oranges & every strand
of flesh & pith was my teacher
i grew warm & soft in the sun & from this ripening
made a poem to search for my teacher
Darius Simpson

ma’am, i’m sorry to tell you, your son is d-

By Darius Simpson dangerously good at freeze tag, like ghost good
drenched in red puddles, but on his way
down by the gutter river
Safia Elhillo

from GIRLS THAT NEVER DIE

By Safia Elhillo i was invented by them the women
steamed & sweating in the kitchen
soft bellies a memory of money
fallen princesses headdressed in rollers
Baruch Porras-Hernandez

Ceremonias De La Superviviencia

By Baruch Porras-Hernandez at the movies my eye on the Exit sign
on the aisles the doorways the space
between the seat in front of me and my legs
how far could I crawl
before I die?
Shabnam Piryaei

nextdoor app

By Shabnam Piryaei a young man desperately buries himself under damp leaves while helicopters hunt him police laugh as he tries to hide in the foliage a neighbor with a device to eavesdrop on scanners catches this tidbit
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
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
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