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Angelique Palmer

God or a Lottery Ticket in a Black Woman’s Purse

By Angelique Palmer Trying to find faith
in a world that is slowly killing me and blaming me for why they can’t do it right

or why survival might be the only thing in the way of enjoying life
Cherryl T. Cooley

Say-So

By Cherryl T. Cooley =POET, I believe you [stop] Mean well [stop] Do well [stop] Bring teeth’s teeth for your bite [stop] Make your ditties and dirges hum [stop]
Mahogany L. Browne

excerpt from “Nation Induced Disorder”

By Mahogany L. Browne if my mother were ever convicted for her addiction like my father I wonder
who I would be robbing now

the data from the Fragile Families Study say
my kind of survival displays more behavioral problems
& early juvenile delinquencies
Emmy Pérez

excerpt from “Cajas/Boxes of Zero Tolerance”

By Emmy Pérez They are the ones who were told their children
were taken to bathe—and not returned. They

are the ones whose nursing babies and toddlers
were forced to wean and left in wet diapers.
Sheila Black

Radium Dream

By Sheila Black We come at the wrong time of year by a hair
or a week, and the brown birds flying onward,
out of reach. My son tilts his head.
Arisa White

My Dead

By Arisa White Everybody she died another is dead everybody
dead and AIDS of AIDS my dead she is
there are more I know with the same story hiding
lips stitched hesitant to speak of someone you knew
Nickole Brown

What the Bees Taught Me

By Nickole Brown When I press my face to the painted box,
the sound is
not buzzing, is not
a mob of wings.
Deborah Paredez

Walls and Mirrors, Fall 1982

By Deborah Paredez The English translation of my surname is walls
misspelled, the original s turned to its mirrored
twin, the z the beginning of the sound for sleep.
Jessica Jacobs

In a Thicket of Body-Bent Grass

By Jessica Jacobs Arkansas is aspic with last-gasp summer, making running
like tunneling: the trail’s air a gelatin
of trapped trajectories.
Shabnam Piryaei

nextdoor app

By Shabnam Piryaei a young man desperately buries himself under damp leaves while helicopters hunt him police laugh as he tries to hide in the foliage a neighbor with a device to eavesdrop on scanners catches this tidbit
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