By Adeeba Shahid TalukderTonight,
the beloved ascends
the rungs of stars;
seated on a mirrored
cushion, she is both spectacle
both of the mehfil
and its all-seeing god.
By Kay Ulanday BarrettHoy! Listen, This is how to cut ginger, it’s a root, she said from
Chicago basement on first snow of the year. It’s the 90’s. Snow is
a big deal. Tear salt missing ocean salt, she cleared her throat.
Based on where we’re from, nothing can prepare us for frozen.
Fast forward: college friend asks How do you make that tea again?
The one you used to drink when it started to snow.
By Dare WilliamsAt the Best Western, he arrived in a Ford
with its burned-out back. We spent the day
driving while he pointed at ruins
of cars gutted on the dead lawns.
By Roya Marshcups, plates, scattered
spaghetti massacre on laps.
all the restaurant alert
&this ga'damn tv
sayin' WE lost!
white girls vanish
the whole world grit they teeth,
but a black girl's disappearance
warrants city wide curfews;
a second silencing
60 black girls ghost //
in the nation's capital
&my phone never rang about it!
By River 瑩瑩 Dandelionmy mother mimics her body
stick bug straight
arms plastered to side
[i was in labor for three days
in a hospital bed in Brooklyn
the lighting was harsh for your eyes]
By antmen pimentel mendozaThe memory palace has an all gender bathroom
and I’m not the middle figure in the half-skirt,
half-pants chimera outfit, but I do like to piss
in a single-stall situation. On the couch
is the heavy blanket that kept me Catholic. Going
up the stairs is an act of poise and in the kitchen
is a lemon, wedged and pledged. Under the bed
is the laser printed felt, the earrings I drew
onto my lobes and my cheeks flush, burning.
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