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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.
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.
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.
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.
By emet ezell
i bought her a shitty ass chicken sandwich.
$18.59 and dripping with oil—
my grandmother. she blessed
the meal for ten minutes before
taking a bite. poured out devotion like
gasoline. like pepsi cola. we knew then
that she was dying, but i lived
in the first paragraph, unprepared.
By Emma Trelles
After winter rains
Are velvety beasts
We have nothing
To worry about
Except for the usual
Minuet of dying
Scraping the corners
By Nancy Huang
I build a UFO. I paint it
sparkly purple like the best sex bruise
you ever got. I line
my foil aircraft with crystals
humming different vibrations.
I woo the shit out of this
engine battery. Rocket fuel and
hard rock swing.
By Maya Marshall
Today’s nothing fancy: my mother lives,
a simple pleasure. My cat made biscuits
on my knee. A woman I desire,
giggled with me, invited me to touch
a whale. I fell for a man I barely know,
his delicious disdain, his persistent smile,
flaking skin and mane.
By Vickie Vértiz
The men inside the Pep Boys wear blue work shirts. Fingerprints on the hems. That’s
how I’m going to be: my hands with grease that won’t wash off. Like Apá buying Freon.
Fenders. My sister sniffs the little trees, outlines the posing girls with her eyes. We buy
peanuts and their candy turns our palms to red
By Candice Iloh
the parents got a phone call from the school
the school told the parents the behavior was
inappropriate something that won’t be tolerated unacceptable