By ChrysanthemumScheduling a follow-up with my PCP, I prepare
for disaster. Inevitable as flood, I hush a moniker
kept in confidence, wager my informed consent
for a Hancock granting passage. Gates are flimsy
metaphors. It’s more of a worn-down levee, dike
ready to burst without notice.
By Kay Ulanday BarrettHoy! Listen, This is how to cut ginger, it’s a root, she said from
Chicago basement on first snow of the year. It’s the 90’s. Snow is
a big deal. Tear salt missing ocean salt, she cleared her throat.
Based on where we’re from, nothing can prepare us for frozen.
Fast forward: college friend asks How do you make that tea again?
The one you used to drink when it started to snow.
By River 瑩瑩 Dandelionmy 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]
By Angela María SpringThough the jam did not set, great chunks of purple-black in jars
placed as offerings behind the kitchen counter butcher block
homemade experiment by my Central American-born mamá, who warned
us to keep a stern eye out, said you invade, take over swiftly
and she was right as our desert—so unlike the humid, temperate climes from which
you first emerged—urges you grow fast to claim any water to be found,
yet as a tree you are migrant/immigrant like us so of course Tucson
banned your presence as Arizona pulled Latinx books from schools
By Gisselle YepesAnd in twenty-five days, we make a year without
Tio Freddy alive, without his flesh inhaling
cigarettes or bud once filled with wind
like that winter after Wela died, the only winter
we got with him here, we walked
every time we linked
downstairs to smoke, to watch the trees
mirror our empty.
By emet ezelli bought her a shitty ass chicken sandwich.
$18.59 and dripping with oil—
my grandmother. she blessed
the meal for ten minutes before
taking a bite. poured out devotion like
gasoline. like pepsi cola. we knew then
that she was dying, but i lived
in the first paragraph, unprepared.
By Kay Ulanday BarrettThen how does candy spill? This way? Stare at the sky
as the MyChart results record blood levels. Peach laden,
cherry lacquer, lilac blossom marathon more at a window
sill on any almost-evening in... what month is it? When
statistics splay, when the masks are forgotten, there'll be
more of us we'll have to teach: catheters are ivy, monstera
fenestration consoles when you're on hold with the pharmacy
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