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Karenne Wood

The Poet I Wish I Was

By Karenne Wood 1. A white poet whose work I admire said she feels most inspired on her daily four-mile walk through a forest.

2. I wish I had time to walk four miles daily. I can usually manage one mile with dogs. My dogs are distractible, and they distract me.
Mai Der Vang

Final Dispatch from Laos

By Mai Der Vang Concerning our hollow breasts,
Lice factions multiplying in our hair.

Concerning our unused stomachs,
Molars waiting to chew, taste buds
John James

Spaghetti Western

By John James In Georgetown, IN, the steel projector reels.
The desert stretches blankly before us, a red
plain constellated with rows of dry mesquite.
Heather Derr-Smith

Gouge

By Heather Derr-Smith One man said there are hundreds
of delicate articulated bones
in the human head. So don’t let it
get punched. Easier said than done.
Reuben Jackson

April 1975

By Reuben Jackson Should my black
Flatlander eyes
Lock on the other
Rigoberto González

In the Village of Missing Sons

By Rigoberto González Rigoberto González performs the poem "In the Village of Missing Sons" at the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
Jan Beatty

The Kindness

By Jan Beatty Jan Beatty performs the poem "The Kindness" at the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
Heather Derr-Smith

Iraqi-Style Fish Shop, Damascus

By Heather Derr-Smith The fish are opened up like salad bowls,
Slid between the metal bars of baskets,
Roasted in the wood-fired ovens, Iraqi style.
The flesh glows as if it were made of glass.
Kyle Dargan

Natural Causes

By Kyle Dargan Naturally, the gun is purchased from a farm in Virginia—pulled from a bushel of barrels
by a tremorous hand, a young man’s. His other fist proffers sweat-wilted dollars. The
farmer, compensated, keeps his gaze down as to remember nothing of the boy’s face.
Abby Minor

YOUR COUNTRY AND EVERYONE IN IT

By Abby Minor 1. [July 2013 Millheim, Pennsylvania]

This is how you miscarry on purpose, with pills:

this is how you eat a sack of tattered peonies.

With stippled petals in your mouth, this is how
you set the little sunset-
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