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Bao Phi

Lights

By Bao Phi A small handle with fiber-optic cables springing like snakes from Medusa’s head. Press a button and tiny colored dots at the end of the translucent strings would light. The day after the Shrine Circus, all the kids in my class had them, waving them.
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.
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.
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
Jenny Xie

Lineage

By Jenny Xie One of the sent-down rusticated youth

Xia xiang: shuttled to the villages to work a steamed pot of land

Her austere fatigues and chatty pigtails
Yona Harvey

The River Wanderer

By Yona Harvey There was a river turned to Goddess. Was kin to river turned to Flame.

As a child I dreamt that river. None could keep me from that vision.

They lowered me in the Mighty Waters. Lowered me in the Creek of Shame.
Frank X Walker

Talking in Tongues

By Frank X Walker We knew to tiptoe quietly
if mama was on the land line
using her full lips to parse out
each syllable, carefully measuring
her words as if they were being
eye-balled and weighed
on the other end.
sam sax

impermanence

By sam sax sometimes i wonder what happens to people’s hands when they disappear
in their pockets. of course, my rational brain knows they go on being hands
but there’s still the question. i wonder if object permanence isn’t the biggest
trick of them all, a scam, a way to ground the brain in its thin bath of liquid
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