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Safia Elhillo

from GIRLS THAT NEVER DIE

By Safia Elhillo i was invented by them the women
steamed & sweating in the kitchen
soft bellies a memory of money
fallen princesses headdressed in rollers
Nicole Homer

The shortest prayer I was ever taught was

By Nicole Homer no: what other name could a god have:

I named my son after my dead
grandfathers: blood and not blood

gather around the bent-corner Kodak
altar:
H. Melt

Every Day Is A Trans Day

By H. Melt Whether it’s raining
or snowing, midnight or
you’re awaking from a nap,
working an eight hour shift
or watching reruns,
Reuben Jackson

Kelly Recalls 1963

By Reuben Jackson I still call
The year 1963
Season of Nightmares
After Medgar Evers
Was killed I
Would lie awake
And wait for
My uncle Joe
To get home
Jonathan Mendoza

Onomástico

By Jonathan Mendoza You ask me for my name,
and I say, “It’s pronounced Mendoza,”
and again, the Spaniard spits it out my throat,
pats me on the tongue,
tells me I have been a good subject,
and again, I have traded this empire
for my former one.
Hakim Bellamy

El Paso Uno

By Hakim Bellamy No one woke up, that Saturday, mourning. / No one woke up that Saturday morning with intentions of becoming a back to school vigil. / No one woke up not expecting to finish out a sophomore year...that had barely be- // gun.
heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

After all references to transgender Americans are scrubbed from government websites…

By heidi andrea restrepo rhodes for you are made of light & flesh, voice & shimmer
no amount of scrubbing will eliminate the shine, you

luminesce, your tired heart
lingers in the dusky dawn liminal, blue

is the color of your name, a shade
in view now, harnessed in the eye centuries
Lupe Mendez

Un tornillo en el corazón - after @jacobsoboroff

By Lupe Mendez don’t even know where to start.
you notice when you walk into the shelter — no joke —
a new war.
Gabriel Ramirez

Before going to the Barbershop

By Gabriel Ramirez I gotta call my barber Eric to
let him know I’m pullin’ up. Yo hello?
Yea yea who this? ahhhh yo what up homie?
How you been kid?
Marjan Naderi

Learning My Name

By Marjan Naderi In first grade, I told kids my name was Sarah.
Saw the way Sarah lifted the curtain
But never cleared the confusion
white enough for no one to ask questions.
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