By Rena PriestWe tell our children stories
to keep them by our side:
Basket lady will get you.
She’ll put you in her basket
and carry you away,
deep into the forest
By Kay Ulanday BarrettHoy! Listen, This is how to cut ginger, it’s a root, she said from
Chicago basement on first snow of the year. It’s the 90’s. Snow is
a big deal. Tear salt missing ocean salt, she cleared her throat.
Based on where we’re from, nothing can prepare us for frozen.
Fast forward: college friend asks How do you make that tea again?
The one you used to drink when it started to snow.
By Dare WilliamsAt the Best Western, he arrived in a Ford
with its burned-out back. We spent the day
driving while he pointed at ruins
of cars gutted on the dead lawns.
By antmen pimentel mendozaThe memory palace has an all gender bathroom
and I’m not the middle figure in the half-skirt,
half-pants chimera outfit, but I do like to piss
in a single-stall situation. On the couch
is the heavy blanket that kept me Catholic. Going
up the stairs is an act of poise and in the kitchen
is a lemon, wedged and pledged. Under the bed
is the laser printed felt, the earrings I drew
onto my lobes and my cheeks flush, burning.
By Saúl HernándezThe day Amá stopped driving, her curls became undone,
her red manicure turned pastel pink, her throat lost the sound left in it—
when a car slammed into her, pushing it towards train tracks.
The wheels of her white Oldsmobile clenched to the tracks the way a jaw latches
on to a bite.
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