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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
Baruch Porras-Hernandez at the movies my eye on the Exit sign
on the aisles the doorways the space
between the seat in front of me and my legs
how far could I crawl
before I die?
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 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 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
Arisa White Everybody she died another is dead everybody
dead and AIDS of AIDS my dead she is
there are more I know with the same story hiding
lips stitched hesitant to speak of someone you knew
Nickole Brown When I press my face to the painted box,
the sound is
not buzzing, is not
a mob of wings.
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.
Leslie McIntosh Imal, direct action protest visible from satellite is time travel, is binge-watching the future. Your optic nerves can reach where no lung has emptied, and speak back with authority, so what is the meaning of witness? Imal, when I see your lover’s face, I am seeing what it has become, in spite of you, and everyone. And what does he see?
Jessica Jacobs Arkansas is aspic with last-gasp summer, making running
like tunneling: the trail’s air a gelatin
of trapped trajectories.