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.
By Gisselle YepesAnd 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.
By Porsha Olayiwoladry land ain't never been for black folk
the earth taketh away, swallowing who
it knows to be a grieving thing- whom else
incites a fire, ignites a riot— a billy-club
built— a man from dust.
By emet ezelli bought her a shitty ass chicken sandwich.
$18.59 and dripping with oil—
my grandmother. she blessed
the meal for ten minutes before
taking a bite. poured out devotion like
gasoline. like pepsi cola. we knew then
that she was dying, but i lived
in the first paragraph, unprepared.
By Vickie VértizThe men inside the Pep Boys wear blue work shirts. Fingerprints on the hems. That’s
how I’m going to be: my hands with grease that won’t wash off. Like Apá buying Freon.
Fenders. My sister sniffs the little trees, outlines the posing girls with her eyes. We buy
peanuts and their candy turns our palms to red
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