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Robin Gow

Chasing Helicopters on the Way Home from a Bowl of Spaghetti

By Robin Gow Someone I love is turning into an asterisk
and so I am running and the vultures are
as hungry as they’ve ever been. The size of genders.
The size of fatherhoods.
Vievee Francis

A WOMAN AT THE BOOKSTORE READING WONDERS HOW I MADE THE LEAP [...]

By Vievee Francis A WOMAN AT THE BOOKSTORE READING
WONDERS HOW I MADE THE LEAP FROM MY FIRST BOOK
TO MY SECOND WHICH WON AN AWARD

She wants me to know how “different” my poetry is
one book to the next, preferring my second book that leaves her
blameless
Arumandhira Howard

Soft Black Girl Aesthetic

By Arumandhira Howard We are made shy / sun, kissing another heartless / night awake. We are made satin silking / pompon locs. Cotton, banana pudding, baby’s / breath. These cornbread thighs, our blessed butterfly / knives. We are made to de-stem hardened men like bull-headed / bougainvillea.
Tonee Mae Moll

Burning Haibun as Portrait: 9 months on HRT, Georgia on MS Word

By Tonee Mae Moll The font, not the nation, nor the southern state where lawmakers are folding the idea of the monster of my body into votes from folks whose homes they know are marked for flooding. I suppose I mean typeface—I’m supposed to remember the difference— like all exquisite things, we’ve got this etymology that feels apocryphal anyway. Anyway, let’s suppose I am a transitional shape.
Opal Moore

Spring Mix, for Ahmaud

By Opal Moore A small bird built a secret nest
beneath my balcony. There must be
hatchlings there, out of view.
She flies back and forth, small prey
in her beak.

Some kind of wren, I think.
Small, brown and quick. No time for
singing midday. Duty
is her instinct.
Jada Renée Allen

To Love Somebody

By Jada Renée Allen There’s a light, a certain
kind of light that has never
shone on me—
Nina’s version.
Not the Bee Gees
or even Janis Joplin,

but the way Nina
sings it, almost a plea.
Gbenga Adesina

PARADISE

By Gbenga Adesina North of the country, a road led to the desert.
Dust was the first sentence. The Sahara
was a white darkness in the distance,
and beyond it the glint of a Great Lake.
We drove past fields of ginger and wild purple onions.
There was a public garden and a ring of white egrets
around still water.
Joanna Acevedo

Training Wheels

By Joanna Acevedo “I just wanted to check in with you about your friend who passed,” my therapist says at the end of our session. “Yeah, he’s still dead,” I quip. We share a long laugh.
Ghinwa Jawhari

the butcher

By Ghinwa Jawhari who loved my mother owned a shop on almira street & hung
among the glamorous posters of arabic singers, a black-and-white
photograph of muhammad al-durrah’s murder.
Sasa Aakil

Black Mermaids and Swimming and Red Hair and Ancestry

By Sasa Aakil They say, Ariel could never be black.
That black folks don't have red hair and can't swim no how.
They list all the reasons we have no right to this title
and I can only think of Hasan.

Brown skin boy with hair red as fire.
Quick wit, quick smile.
Born with sunset resting atop his head like crown.
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