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Meg Day

Origin Calling

By Meg Day In the dangerous years
everyone took lovers

but us.
Angelique Palmer

God or a Lottery Ticket in a Black Woman’s Purse

By Angelique Palmer Trying to find faith
in a world that is slowly killing me and blaming me for why they can’t do it right

or why survival might be the only thing in the way of enjoying life
Mahogany L. Browne

excerpt from “Nation Induced Disorder”

By Mahogany L. Browne if my mother were ever convicted for her addiction like my father I wonder
who I would be robbing now

the data from the Fragile Families Study say
my kind of survival displays more behavioral problems
& early juvenile delinquencies
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?
Sheila Black

Radium Dream

By Sheila Black We come at the wrong time of year by a hair
or a week, and the brown birds flying onward,
out of reach. My son tilts his head.
Arisa White

My Dead

By Arisa White Everybody she died another is dead everybody
dead and AIDS of AIDS my dead she is
there are more I know with the same story hiding
lips stitched hesitant to speak of someone you knew
Deborah Paredez

Walls and Mirrors, Fall 1982

By Deborah Paredez The English translation of my surname is walls
misspelled, the original s turned to its mirrored
twin, the z the beginning of the sound for sleep.
Matt Daly

Hard Winter

By Matt Daly Everywhere I go, people are shouting
at one another, people are shaking

their fists at one another. Everywhere
I go, I see someone knapping

an edge to a stone.
Kit Yan

At the Medicaid Office

By Kit Yan They are giving out Turkeys at the Public Assistance office,
Wrapped in plastic,
The legs folded in, balled for convenience,
You must have had to write your name on a raffle ticket,
I came too late to see the process.
Kay Ulanday Barrett

Aunties love it when seafood is on sale

By Kay Ulanday Barrett In summertime, the women
in my family spin sagoo
like planets, make
even saturn blush.
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