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Saúl Hernández

Choo-choo

By Saúl Hernández The day Amá stopped driving, her curls became undone,
her red manicure turned pastel pink, her throat lost the sound left in it—

when a car slammed into her, pushing it towards train tracks.
The wheels of her white Oldsmobile clenched to the tracks the way a jaw latches

on to a bite.
Chen Chen

have you eaten yet

By Chen Chen the mystery of your lungs
the spaceship of your yes
Ariana Benson

goniurellia tridens

By Ariana Benson a week before I left the sinking city, I read
about a fruit fly with decoy ants on its wings—
an evolutionary adaptation, bred
evidence of what happens when a species clings

so desperately to life that it makes for itself
Rose Zinnia

(Reassignment)

By Rose Zinnia a trick
of light
a sleight
of hand
a contused
grammar
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
KB Brookins

Love Machine

By KB Brookins All this time I thought we needed permission
to dance. Flap our imaginary wings. Schlep
sweat on our foreheads while making up moves
in every dance scene. My people are good at
dreaming up new grooves in the time it takes
one foot to pick itself up on the soul train.
TC Tolbert

In someone else’s home, 2018 February 08

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.
Gisselle Yepes

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MOURN MEN WHO HAVE NOT TRIED TO KILL ME

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.
Porsha Olayiwola

Rodney King Mistakes The Deep End Of His Swimming Pool For The Atlantic [...]

By Porsha Olayiwola dry land ain't never been for black folk
the earth taketh away, swallowing who
it knows to be a grieving thing- whom else
incites a fire, ignites a riot— a billy-club
built— a man from dust.
Justice Ameer

we all gotta eat.

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.
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