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Alexa Patrick

Ode to the Black Men Playing Lil’ Jon Outside the Waterfront Safeway

By Alexa Patrick Heads heavy with 1’s and 2’s,
they perch outside the grocery,
sucking teeth at new neighbors
rushing home with La Croix boxes,
neighbors who don’t make eye contact,
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
Bao Phi

Lights

By Bao Phi A small handle with fiber-optic cables springing like snakes from Medusa’s head. Press a button and tiny colored dots at the end of the translucent strings would light. The day after the Shrine Circus, all the kids in my class had them, waving them.
Angelique Palmer

God or a Lottery Ticket in a Black Woman’s Purse

By Angelique Palmer Trying to find faith
in a world that is slowly killing me and blaming me for why they can’t do it right

or why survival might be the only thing in the way of enjoying life
Arisa White

My Dead

By 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
Shabnam Piryaei

nextdoor app

By Shabnam Piryaei a young man desperately buries himself under damp leaves while helicopters hunt him police laugh as he tries to hide in the foliage a neighbor with a device to eavesdrop on scanners catches this tidbit
Kit Yan

At the Medicaid Office

By Kit Yan They are giving out Turkeys at the Public Assistance office,
Wrapped in plastic,
The legs folded in, balled for convenience,
You must have had to write your name on a raffle ticket,
I came too late to see the process.
Raquel Salas Rivera

desahucio / eviction

By Raquel Salas Rivera los blancos en sus casas lloran
porque han tenido que desahuciar a sus huéspedes.
los apellidos y las propiedades lloran
porque han quemado los títulos de propiedad
de los gusanos.

***
the whites cry in their houses
because they’ve had to evict the guests.
the last names and the properties cry
because they’ve burned
the worms’ deeds.
Cynthia Guardado

Waiting for a Greyhound Bus at the Los Angeles Station

By Cynthia Guardado A black woman stands with two toddlers hanging off her hips.
Her balance is perfect as she pushes her luggage with one leg,

the boys curl into her shoulders unaware of how
they all slide forward. I offer her my help. Her face is serious
Karenne Wood

The Poet I Wish I Was

By Karenne Wood 1. A white poet whose work I admire said she feels most inspired on her daily four-mile walk through a forest.

2. I wish I had time to walk four miles daily. I can usually manage one mile with dogs. My dogs are distractible, and they distract me.
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