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Tatiana Johnson-Boria

Pantoum: A Spell for Our Living

By Tatiana Johnson-Boria In which memory were you born?
Colossal: God of an ancestor’s grieving
What dreams were whispered into your skin?
I wake, in fear of what might die with you
Sarah Audsley

Homegoing

By Sarah Audsley You will return to the temple, swept clean,
tea sprouting in rows, clappers of bells ringing out
as incense burn at the foot of the golden Buddha.
Chrysanthemum

Alias

By Chrysanthemum Scheduling a follow-up with my PCP, I prepare
for disaster. Inevitable as flood, I hush a moniker
kept in confidence, wager my informed consent

for a Hancock granting passage. Gates are flimsy
metaphors. It’s more of a worn-down levee, dike
ready to burst without notice.
Jessica Abughattas

Litany for My Father

By Jessica Abughattas Because curfews of
Because strip search at the checkpoint into
Because grandmother’s undergarments splayed on
Because two men with guns on the way to
Because grandmother saves plastic Coke liters to
Because the water could without notice be
Johnson Cheu

Becky Declines Barbie’s Dinner Invitation

By Johnson Cheu I should have figured as much.
After all, it took over thirty years
to realize Barbie’s Malibu
convertible isn’t accident-proof.
Sahar Muradi

What Fell, and Other Ways of Seeing August 15th

By Sahar Muradi K says what fell?
R says prices have shot up
I says our people did not fall
M says we have so much more to lose if we leave
R says the gardens are still awash in green
N says he was arrested
S says he is still dubbing films, just quietly
R says a mother sits in the road shrieking at every passing car
Steve Bellin-Oka

Packing the Kitchen Utensils

By Steve Bellin-Oka How many years since we used
the potato masher, the apple peeler,
its stainless-steel blade and crank
tucked in the back of the bottom
kitchen drawer among the balled
clot of discarded rubber bands?
Nathan McClain

Q: Is there anything you miss about your life back then?

By Nathan McClain On one of those evenings you found yourself walking back, now that much of what daylight was left had moved on, as though some argument had long been settled and nothing lay ahead but a row of muted streetlamps and the future, of course, immediate, shimmering which, let’s face it, you were always going back to despite any guilt you still carried like a flashlight
Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Mehfil

By Adeeba Shahid Talukder Tonight,
the beloved ascends
the rungs of stars;

seated on a mirrored
cushion, she is both spectacle
and witness,

both of the mehfil
and its all-seeing god.
Rena Priest

Basket Lady and Greater Evils

By Rena Priest We 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
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