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jason b. crawford

A Double Sonnet For the River

By jason b. crawford and because this is a poem about joy, it too must have a river flowing
from its greedy jaws. i have only learned how to speak about joy
as an offering to a god i will never understand.
Roya Marsh

i flipped a table once.

By Roya Marsh cups, plates, scattered
spaghetti massacre on laps.
all the restaurant alert
&this ga'damn tv
sayin' WE lost!

white girls vanish
the whole world grit they teeth,
but a black girl's disappearance
warrants city wide curfews;
a second silencing
60 black girls ghost //
in the nation's capital
&my phone never rang about it!
River 瑩瑩 Dandelion

Sometimes Oral History Comes Off Recorder as Poem or, Birth Story

By River 瑩瑩 Dandelion my mother mimics her body
stick bug straight
arms plastered to side

[i was in labor for three days
in a hospital bed in Brooklyn
the lighting was harsh for your eyes]
antmen pimentel mendoza

A Stroll Through the Museum of My Gender Ending with a Minor Capitulation to Commodity Fetishism

By antmen pimentel mendoza The memory palace has an all gender bathroom
and I’m not the middle figure in the half-skirt,
half-pants chimera outfit, but I do like to piss

in a single-stall situation. On the couch
is the heavy blanket that kept me Catholic. Going
up the stairs is an act of poise and in the kitchen

is a lemon, wedged and pledged. Under the bed
is the laser printed felt, the earrings I drew
onto my lobes and my cheeks flush, burning.
Walela Nehanda

Stem Cell Transplant as Chimera

By Walela Nehanda I am run ragged by another woman’s
immunity transplanted inside me.
I am not myself on a cellular level.
Somewhere, in my biology.
I am in Greece. I am a good woman.
Thirty five and Santorini chic.
Saúl Hernández

Choo-choo

By Saúl Hernández The day Amá stopped driving, her curls became undone,
her red manicure turned pastel pink, her throat lost the sound left in it—

when a car slammed into her, pushing it towards train tracks.
The wheels of her white Oldsmobile clenched to the tracks the way a jaw latches

on to a bite.
Rose Zinnia

(Reassignment)

By Rose Zinnia a trick
of light
a sleight
of hand
a contused
grammar
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
KB Brookins

Love Machine

By KB Brookins All this time I thought we needed permission
to dance. Flap our imaginary wings. Schlep
sweat on our foreheads while making up moves
in every dance scene. My people are good at
dreaming up new grooves in the time it takes
one foot to pick itself up on the soul train.
TC Tolbert

In someone else’s home, 2018 February 08

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.
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