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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.
Steve Bellin-Oka

Packing the Kitchen Utensils

By Steve Bellin-Oka How many years since we used
the potato masher, the apple peeler,
its stainless-steel blade and crank
tucked in the back of the bottom
kitchen drawer among the balled
clot of discarded rubber bands?
Roya Marsh

i flipped a table once.

By Roya Marsh cups, plates, scattered
spaghetti massacre on laps.
all the restaurant alert
&this ga'damn tv
sayin' WE lost!

white girls vanish
the whole world grit they teeth,
but a black girl's disappearance
warrants city wide curfews;
a second silencing
60 black girls ghost //
in the nation's capital
&my phone never rang about it!
Chen Chen

have you eaten yet

By Chen Chen the mystery of your lungs
the spaceship of your yes
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
Maya Marshall

Everyday

By Maya Marshall Today’s nothing fancy: my mother lives,
a simple pleasure. My cat made biscuits
on my knee. A woman I desire,
giggled with me, invited me to touch
a whale. I fell for a man I barely know,
his delicious disdain, his persistent smile,
flaking skin and mane.
Vickie Vértiz

‘70 Chevy El Camino

By Vickie Vértiz The men inside the Pep Boys wear blue work shirts. Fingerprints on the hems. That’s
how I’m going to be: my hands with grease that won’t wash off. Like Apá buying Freon.
Fenders. My sister sniffs the little trees, outlines the posing girls with her eyes. We buy
peanuts and their candy turns our palms to red
Sunu P. Chandy

Impulse Buys

By Sunu P. Chandy At the shiny stones and rocks booth, I am unusually patient. I even consider spending a few dollars on a few pebbles. She seemed to sense that, without me saying a word, and I could feel her heart smile.

And then in one instant, everything changed. Looking toward the cashier, she saw, just hanging out there on the wall, real guns in real life.

Karla Cordero

A Conversation With Siri About Death

By Karla Cordero i watch slasher movies but hate the sight of real blood leave the body

i panic on planes & think of ways the machine or sky

will betray me i read books in fear to evaporate

out of this world without seeing its soft hands
Tiana Nobile

Yuri

By Tiana Nobile When you held him, how heavy was his head cradled in your lap? How long did you carry that
weight in your thighs?
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