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Jessica (Tyner) Mehta

The Seeds for Distinction*

By Jessica (Tyner) Mehta Conductor drives us, the cow-
catcher barreling straight into the teeth
of Memory’s harshest winter.
Juan J. Morales

Of Avocados

By Juan J. Morales Like two hands pressed
together, they are twice as large
on the island. One feeds
Amy M. Alvarez

I keep lighting candles on my stoop and watching the wind snuff them out

By Amy M. Alvarez I keep thinking about Breonna Taylor asleep/ between fresh sheets/ I keeping thinking/ about her skin cooling after a shower/ about her hair wrapped in a satin bonnet/ I think about what she may have dreamed that night
Kyle Dargan

Poem Resisting Arrest

By Kyle Dargan This poem is guilty. It assumed it retained
the right to ask its question after the page

came up flush against its face.
Azura Tyabji

Diaspora

By Azura Tyabji If the meaning of the prayer was not passed down to you,
find it through holier means than translation.
Cling to the rhythm instead.
Kyle Dargan

Remedial Heteronormativity

By Kyle Dargan “Man-law” I first violate at age ten—
my wandering fingers not appeased by picking
through my cousin’s video
game cartridges, Sports Illustrateds.
M. Soledad Caballero

Immigrant Confession

By M. Soledad Caballero The Cherokee are not originally from Oklahoma. Settlers forced
them to disappear west, into air and sky, beyond buildings,
beyond concrete, beyond the rabid land hunger. There was
a trail. There was despair. Reservations carved out of prairie
grass, lost space and sadness in the middle of flat dirt.
Reginald Dwayne Betts

Elegy Ending With a Cell Door Closing

By Reginald Dwayne Betts & the Judge told him to count
The trees in the parking lot
Where there were only cars: Zero
The same number of stars
You could see on a night in the city.
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.
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