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Alexis Smithers

[Untitled]

By Alexis Smithers Standing in line, waiting to go into the Library of Congress
a black woman stands two people ahead of me and
a white security guard says to her,
It’s a beautiful day.
Maren Lovey Wright-Kerr

darkskin

By Maren Lovey Wright-Kerr when the makeup aisle stops at “caramel”

it means
the makeup industry just thinks you already too pretty to need they products
Kimberly Blaeser

A Water Poem for Remembering

By Kimberly Blaeser Yes, it’s true I speak ill of the living
in coded ways divorced from the dead.
Why Lyla June fasts on capitol steps.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Prayer for those who run

By Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha I wish you swift wind.
I wish you a changed phone number
that stays changed.
M. Kamara

Robert E. Lee and I Have a Staring Contest

By M. Kamara And a white person says racism is dead
and a white person jokes about slavery
and a white person lives unbothered
and a white person screams about immigrants
Justice Ameer

t for t

By Justice Ameer / he asks me how it feels /
it’s no simple curiosity
nor a question without consequence
phantom of longing lingers so
subtly on the last syllable
Trevino L. Brings Plenty

[Untitled]

By Trevino L. Brings Plenty To acknowledge so-
cietal micro-systems
as a poet means I
will continue to be
emerging within an on-
slaught of the macro-
system submergence
operations.
Mejdulene B. Shomali

i grew up with god in my mouth

By Mejdulene B. Shomali kept the name between gum & tooth
rolled it around like hard candy
cracked the shell of faith like sunflower seeds
spit out doubt & swallowed the sun
Malik Thompson

Self-Portrait Of The Black Boi Becoming The Monster He Always Desired To Be

By Malik Thompson Midnight is my first emotion, then starscream, bloodlust—
an impulse to sink my fangs into the nearest man’s
neck. Shotgun shells explode beneath my window,
dragging me from the grip of a ragged slumber—
the winds of this rotting city drenched in gunsmoke.
Jasminne Mendez

Machete: Look

By Jasminne Mendez It isn’t easy / to look / at what I have / cut. Which is to say — / wounded / from the body / of a tree / or a woman / or a child.
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