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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.
Raymond Antrobus

On Teaching Poetry In A Men’s High Security Prison

By Raymond Antrobus I was searched at every edge. I wanted everyone, including me, to be innocent. One inmate squeezed my hand like a letter he’d been hoping for.
Kathi Wolfe

Celestial Navigation

By Kathi Wolfe “I am not used to blind poets,”
says the teacher, his Ray-Ban
sunglasses sliding off his nose,
“they’re flying in the dark,
landing who knows where,
right in your face,
in your hair – on your stairs.”
torrin a. greathouse

Anti-Ode for the Transportation Security Administration

By torrin a. greathouse The body scanner says my name & my flesh are suspicious
abandoned baggage. A voice on the loudspeaker says to report
any & all unaccompanied luggage it could contain anything.
Clothes, or drugs, or a body folded economically. Utilitarian
origami. Voice on the speaker says trust no one, says anything
could be a threat.
heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

After all references to transgender Americans are scrubbed from government websites…

By heidi andrea restrepo rhodes for you are made of light & flesh, voice & shimmer
no amount of scrubbing will eliminate the shine, you

luminesce, your tired heart
lingers in the dusky dawn liminal, blue

is the color of your name, a shade
in view now, harnessed in the eye centuries
Ching-In Chen

Lantern Letter: a Zuihitsu

By Ching-In Chen My people – I see you across street, porch people, huddled under brick archway, watching what pours from sky. Wading in water, what circuits it carries – mostly numb, small, what might feel like circuit’s end.
Laura Da’

Chains and Links

By Laura Da' I do desire—Chillicothe, Piqua, Lima
that you remain—Shawnee, Lawrence, Olathe

Wyandotte, Tecumseh—on the other side
Junction City, Fort Leavenworth, Lenexa—

of the river.
George Abraham

the ghosts of the dead sea rewrite the history of drowning

By George Abraham sink [ the bodies ] sink [ unholy ] sink [ in their own ] sink sink [ home ] sink [ the bodies ] sink [ i lift ] sink [ zion's expense ] sink [ in skin ] sink [ & bone ] sink sink [ coarse & crystalline ] sink sink [ & wound ] sink sink [ i swallow ]
Meg Day

Origin Calling

By Meg Day In the dangerous years
everyone took lovers

but us.
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