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Jessica (Tyner) Mehta

The Seeds for Distinction*

By Jessica (Tyner) Mehta Conductor drives us, the cow-
catcher barreling straight into the teeth
of Memory’s harshest winter.
Hari Alluri

Clarification Card: The Spiral (“The cigarette is pretext: smoke rises from within”)

By Hari Alluri Unless you’re practiced as a lola’s wrinkles,
do not flip the lit side of the yosi in your mouth.
They developed this skill in war and carried it
Tobias Wray

Music Arises from Component Parts or The Dream of a Clarinet

By Tobias Wray Once done,
my father pulled
the instrument apart.
Kimberly Blaeser

The Where in My Belly

By Kimberly Blaeser Scientists say my brain and heart
are 73 percent water—
they underestimate me.
Tamiko Beyer

Equinox

By Tamiko Beyer Dear child of the near future,
here is what I know—hawks

soar on the updraft and sparrows always
return to the seed source until they spot
I.S. Jones

SELF-PORTRAIT OF THE BLK GIRL BECOMING THE BEAST EVERYONE THOUGHT SHE WAS

By I.S. Jones the moon is my first emotion then beast then happy rage
depending on a zealous appetite

i pull bobby pins from the kitchen of my scalp tear out nails
Carlos Andrés Gómez

Ghosts of Abolition

By Carlos Andrés Gómez whisper through tear gas—
remind of the original
patrols, ruddy-cheeked
Rosemary Ferreira

This is the city that I love

By Rosemary Ferreira Habichuelas bubbling on the stovetop. The kitchen door opens to our backyard. My father cuts out a piece of the campo and plants it here in Brooklyn. There are neighbors who knock on the door with a broom to let us know they’re selling pasteles. The train rumbles into a screech in the background, “This is Gates Avenue, the next stop is...”
Leticia Hernández-Linares

Latido

By Leticia Hernández-Linares Tus pómulos, the historic shape of your
temporal bones imitating the pirámides we carry, beating
blueprints inside of our lungs, stencil the heart
with the angles of the architecture we were born in.
Destiny Hemphill

we ask mama-n-em, “where is the motherworld?”

By Destiny Hemphill listen.

it’s in, not at. in the whistle & hiss, the steam of your breath as you chant
we ready (we ready), we comin (we comin) atop of a jail

building in ruins. yes, it’s in your breath & in the never dwindling
kindle of your fingertips as you reach out & touch
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