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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
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.
Rasheed Copeland

Weed Brownies (Allegory of the Dispensary)

By Rasheed Copeland weed brownies weeds cookies weed Cheetos
lollipops and gummies what a great idea—a weed bar at the wedding
a better idea? a weed stand at the farmer’s market

the times are changing
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
Shauna M. Morgan

how to make her stay

By Shauna M. Morgan tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent

tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
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
Tara Hardy

THE NINE

By Tara Hardy They call it dissociation.
I call it THE NINE (children)
who live inside me.
Each of them encased
in amber, frozen in a mosquito-pose
Doritt Carroll

intermittent apnea of unknown causation

By Doritt Carroll the first time it happened
i thought i was being strangled
four fingers compressing each side of my throat
no air
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