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Elliott batTzedek

Sunday Afternoon as Oil Pours into the Gulf

By Elliott batTzedek Across a small suburban lawn
a very large man is riding
a very large tractor mower
Ching-In Chen

American Syntax

By Ching-In Chen The teacher straightbacked,
faced me off, her eyes.
My face in the cleave of
her shoulder, my bones
Zara Houshmand

Humor Difficult to Translate

By Zara Houshmand The label says Afghan Comedian
and nothing more, no artist, no provenance,
just a monitor’s unlidded eye embedded
Robin Coste Lewis

Verga

By Robin Coste Lewis Before leaving her they put stones in her vagina
The men will only be raped but the stones will be killed
The bush caught many men to go into the stones
Alicia Ostriker

Laundry

By Alicia Ostriker Just finished folding laundry. There's the news. A slender prisoner, ankles shackled, nude back and legs striped by a brown substance you might take for blood but which probably is feces, hair long, arms extended at shoulder level like a dancer or like Jesus, walks toward a soldier with rolled-up pants and a gun, posed legs akimbo in the tiled corridor. I cannot say from the image if the soldier is smiling, too few pixels to tell.
Bonnie Naradzay

Hanover County Jail, Commonwealth of Virginia

By Bonnie Naradzay Lunch today for the inmates means white bread
and a slice of baloney. Dinner is more of the same.
The limit now - two meals a day to stay in budget.
Scott Hightower

Rubber Dollie

By Scott Hightower Like a dancer covered in nothing
but white powder, then sponged
with coarse brown makeup;
Reginald Harris

Normal

By Reginald Harris walk long enough
with a pebble in your shoe
and walking with a pebble becomes
normal
Kim Jensen

And Even George W. is out of a Job

By Kim Jensen You know the economy's bad
when people are lined up around the block
to apply for the job
of the wicked witch.
Alan King

Uprising

By Alan King The president of pride's been overthrown
by a coup.
The president of humility shakes his head.
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