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Safia Elhillo i sat by the lake & ate five tiny oranges & every strand
of flesh & pith was my teacher
i grew warm & soft in the sun & from this ripening
made a poem to search for my teacher
Darius Simpson dangerously good at freeze tag, like ghost good
drenched in red puddles, but on his way
down by the gutter river
M. Kamara And a white person says racism is dead
and a white person jokes about slavery
and a white person lives unbothered
and a white person screams about immigrants
Diana Tokaji Here in the mud
of my history
beneath the rage
Shira Erlichman The Former Poet Laureate of the United States
wrote an eighty-nine line poem about clouds & I
want to write about clouds but all I can see
is this bruise on the inside of my inner-elbow the needle left
when posing a question about my toxicity level.
H. Melt Whether it’s raining
or snowing, midnight or
you’re awaking from a nap,
working an eight hour shift
or watching reruns,
Raymond Antrobus I was searched at every edge. I wanted everyone, including me, to be innocent. One inmate squeezed my hand like a letter he’d been hoping for.
Kathi Wolfe “I am not used to blind poets,”
says the teacher, his Ray-Ban
sunglasses sliding off his nose,
“they’re flying in the dark,
landing who knows where,
right in your face,
in your hair – on your stairs.”
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 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.