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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
Cynthia Guardado

Waiting for a Greyhound Bus at the Los Angeles Station

By Cynthia Guardado A black woman stands with two toddlers hanging off her hips.
Her balance is perfect as she pushes her luggage with one leg,

the boys curl into her shoulders unaware of how
they all slide forward. I offer her my help. Her face is serious
Jonathan Mendoza

Osmosis

By Jonathan Mendoza Example: I place my hand in a pool of salt.
Some stays. Some seeps into my skin.
Everything goes exactly where it’s supposed to.
M. Soledad Caballero

After the Election: a father speaks to his son

By M. Soledad Caballero He says, they will not take us.
They want the ones who love
another god, the ones whose
joy comes with five prayers and
Sharon Olds

Calvinist Parents

By Sharon Olds They put roofs over our heads.
Ours was made of bent tiles,
so the edge of the roof had a broken look,
Elizabeth Acevedo

In Translation

By Elizabeth Acevedo My mouth cannot write you a white flag.
It will never be a Bible verse.
My mouth cannot be shaped into the apology
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