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Ching-In Chen

Lantern Letter: a Zuihitsu

By Ching-In Chen My people – I see you across street, porch people, huddled under brick archway, watching what pours from sky. Wading in water, what circuits it carries – mostly numb, small, what might feel like circuit’s end.
Gabriel Ramirez

Before going to the Barbershop

By Gabriel Ramirez I gotta call my barber Eric to
let him know I’m pullin’ up. Yo hello?
Yea yea who this? ahhhh yo what up homie?
How you been kid?
Franny Choi

You’re So Paranoid

By Franny Choi A wall of cops moves like a wall of water on a barge no beauty.

A wall of iron swallows the woman who falls to the ground and keeps
falling. There’s a video. The picture stays intact (again).

It’s not pretty, meaning it’s hard to watch.
Kenneth Carroll III

saturday afternoon

By Kenneth Carroll III we ride in on the red line
our laces coming undone as we float over fair gates

until we fall into a night

ripe
with everything our tongues have been yearning for
Baruch Porras-Hernandez

Ceremonias De La Superviviencia

By 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?
Matt Daly

Hard Winter

By Matt Daly Everywhere I go, people are shouting
at one another, people are shaking

their fists at one another. Everywhere
I go, I see someone knapping

an edge to a stone.
Bianca Lynne Spriggs

To the woman I saw today who wept in her car

By Bianca Lynne Spriggs Woman,
I get it.
We are strangers,
but I know the heart is a hive
and someone has knocked yours
from its high branch in your chest
Joseph Green

Talk Ugly

By Joseph Green The last time I saw you alive
I wish I would’ve talked ugly to you.

Said, “Put the straw down. No,
I don’t want to take another line,
I should be writing them.
Seema Reza

Quartering

By Seema Reza When the soldier knocks on your door, billet book in hand, move aside
to let him enter. He will wipe his feet, remove his hat
(you’ll learn to call it a cover)
he will be polite, place his rifle by the door
Minal Hajratwala

‘I am broken by the revolt exploding inside me’

By Minal Hajratwala Your rage is pomegranates spilling open on ice, is the flute’s thin silver seam, is a volcano spitting rivulets of fire to wash clean these corrupt lands.
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