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Alexis Smithers

[Untitled]

By Alexis Smithers Standing in line, waiting to go into the Library of Congress
a black woman stands two people ahead of me and
a white security guard says to her,
It’s a beautiful day.
Justice Ameer

t for t

By Justice Ameer / he asks me how it feels /
it’s no simple curiosity
nor a question without consequence
phantom of longing lingers so
subtly on the last syllable
Brandon Douglas

Deadlocked

By Brandon Douglas Scrolling thru my newsfeed
I saw a snapshot of a klansman with dreadlocks
It baffles me
How loud the white obsession is with blackness
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.
Lupe Mendez

Un tornillo en el corazón - after @jacobsoboroff

By Lupe Mendez don’t even know where to start.
you notice when you walk into the shelter — no joke —
a new war.
Gabriel Ramirez

Before going to the Barbershop

By Gabriel Ramirez I gotta call my barber Eric to
let him know I’m pullin’ up. Yo hello?
Yea yea who this? ahhhh yo what up homie?
How you been kid?
Steven Leyva

The Silver Screen Asks, “What’s Up Danger?” After We Enter

By Steven Leyva a lobby shaped like a yawn, lined with lodestone
leftover from making the marquee. The congress

of picture shows and pulp flicks it seems
named this movie house, the Senator.
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 ]
Shauna M. Morgan

how to make her stay

By Shauna M. Morgan tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent

tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
Doritt Carroll

intermittent apnea of unknown causation

By Doritt Carroll the first time it happened
i thought i was being strangled
four fingers compressing each side of my throat
no air
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