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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.
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
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.
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
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?
By Sumita Chakraborty
We may try to change the shape of your body, or the color of your skin,
or the kinds of sounds that your mouths make, to match how we think you should.
By Saretta Morgan
More than a decade after being sentenced I share the news with my mom.
By Rio Cortez
Just as close to living as you are to disappearing knowing
my limits you locate the tender spots without.
By Travis Chi Wing Lau
I shrug off my messenger onto the floor and forget to kiss you when I walk through the door.
By Jessica (Tyner) Mehta
Conductor drives us, the cow-
catcher barreling straight into the teeth
of Memory’s harshest winter.