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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.
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.
Jose Hernandez Diaz

Ode to My Older Sister, Letty, for Being the First in the Family to Go to College

By Jose Hernandez Diaz I’m not sure if you knew it at the time, but you showed us, your younger siblings,
A great example. Maybe you were just happy going away to college,

Away from the responsibilities of watching over younger siblings all the time,
But I always remembered having pride when I’d tell people my sister

Is an English major and even more so when you became a teacher.
Tatiana Johnson-Boria

Pantoum: A Spell for Our Living

By Tatiana Johnson-Boria In which memory were you born?
Colossal: God of an ancestor’s grieving
What dreams were whispered into your skin?
I wake, in fear of what might die with you
Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Mehfil

By Adeeba Shahid Talukder Tonight,
the beloved ascends
the rungs of stars;

seated on a mirrored
cushion, she is both spectacle
and witness,

both of the mehfil
and its all-seeing god.
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.
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]
Sharon Bridgforth

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/dem Blessings #34

By Sharon Bridgforth Remember.

You were wild
and you were free
and you felt unloved
and unseen
and you ran the streets
and you Loved hard
and you were Loved deeply
Chen Chen

have you eaten yet

By Chen Chen the mystery of your lungs
the spaceship of your yes
Rose Zinnia

(Reassignment)

By Rose Zinnia a trick
of light
a sleight
of hand
a contused
grammar
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