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Marilyn Nelson Marilyn Nelson performs the poem "Millie Christine" at the 2012 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner Need, desperate need, eagle-taloned need
is a pumping drill. The oil sloshes
to the brim. The lid slams and it’s a tanker
spewing smoke. It burps and hisses
L. Lamar Wilson She ambles about this Mickey-Dee kitchen’s din,
unmoved by the hot grease threatening
her ¿puedo tomar su orden? mask.
Hermine Pinson Mother
“ I will ask you to recall these words
at the end of our session”
Jill Khoury The boy across the street points at me and lisps—now I know what they mean in books when they say children lisp. He wears a red and white striped t-shirt, addresses my friend who walks beside me. I ask people to please walk on my left side. It’s the eye that’s not completely dead I say. They always move over.
Marie-Elizabeth Mali Balancing on crutches in the shallows
near her mother, a girl missing her right lower leg
swings her body and falls, laughing.
Kathi Wolfe I'm in my seat,
averting my eyes,
those funhouse mirrors,
Sheila Black The brace was metal, and it fastened around the ankles.
Outside in the street there was the beggar with elephantiasis; there was
the leper, the neighbor with eyes milky blind,
Natalie Illum The first time I saw these activists turned
acrobats, I was immobilized as they arched
through hoops, twisting like DNA.
Fady Joudah When the shooting began
Everyone ran to the trucks
Grabbed whatever their backs needed
And made for the trucks