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By TC Tolbert
In someone else’s home, 2018 February 08,
you are sitting in front of a considerable yellow mirror. Carved
into the frame of the mirror are flowers, the leaves
of which, were they solo, could be mistaken for thumb
-nails lined up at a salon waiting for the arrival of the hands
to which they should be attached. There are fish underwater
above you trying to tell the night what is coming.
By Gisselle Yepes
And 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 Justice Ameer
even ants go to war.
been thinking about it all summer, what it means…
i mean how human. or maybe how ant.
maybe nature begets violence because we all gotta eat.
By emet ezell
i 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 Maya Marshall
Today’s nothing fancy: my mother lives,
a simple pleasure. My cat made biscuits
on my knee. A woman I desire,
giggled with me, invited me to touch
a whale. I fell for a man I barely know,
his delicious disdain, his persistent smile,
flaking skin and mane.
By Moncho Alvarado
She said, it's facil, look up, kiss everything,
hold the sun between your mouth,
blow like this * * * * * ****
**** * * * * **** *****
after I told her I was a woman, she wrinkled
the space between us by hugging me.
By Kay Ulanday Barrett
Then how does candy spill? This way? Stare at the sky
as the MyChart results record blood levels. Peach laden,
cherry lacquer, lilac blossom marathon more at a window
sill on any almost-evening in... what month is it? When
statistics splay, when the masks are forgotten, there'll be
more of us we'll have to teach: catheters are ivy, monstera
fenestration consoles when you're on hold with the pharmacy
By Sunu P. Chandy
At the shiny stones and rocks booth, I am unusually patient. I even consider spending a few dollars on a few pebbles. She seemed to sense that, without me saying a word, and I could feel her heart smile.
And then in one instant, everything changed. Looking toward the cashier, she saw, just hanging out there on the wall, real guns in real life.
By Karla Cordero
i watch slasher movies but hate the sight of real blood leave the body
i panic on planes & think of ways the machine or sky
will betray me i read books in fear to evaporate
out of this world without seeing its soft hands
By Ina Cariño
memory of magnolia on lapels. grandfather’s paper
cheeks pale, teeth whiter than frosted hibiscus.
when I visit the mausoleum, I lay a white cloth on his tomb,
mesh of cobwebs stretched across the buds