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Deborah Paredez

Walls and Mirrors, Fall 1982

By Deborah Paredez The English translation of my surname is walls
misspelled, the original s turned to its mirrored
twin, the z the beginning of the sound for sleep.
Kit Yan

At the Medicaid Office

By Kit Yan They are giving out Turkeys at the Public Assistance office,
Wrapped in plastic,
The legs folded in, balled for convenience,
You must have had to write your name on a raffle ticket,
I came too late to see the process.
Shauna M. Morgan

how to make her stay

By Shauna M. Morgan tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent

tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
Yona Harvey

The River Wanderer

By Yona Harvey There was a river turned to Goddess. Was kin to river turned to Flame.

As a child I dreamt that river. None could keep me from that vision.

They lowered me in the Mighty Waters. Lowered me in the Creek of Shame.
Kay Ulanday Barrett

Aunties love it when seafood is on sale

By Kay Ulanday Barrett In summertime, the women
in my family spin sagoo
like planets, make
even saturn blush.
Ely Shipley

Six

By Ely Shipley The neck of the guitar stretches
out, every other fret painted with a sharp
dot or dash, flash after flash

of reflected light, marble or pearl, the shape
of a fingerprint, ...
Bianca Lynne Spriggs

To the woman I saw today who wept in her car

By Bianca Lynne Spriggs Woman,
I get it.
We are strangers,
but I know the heart is a hive
and someone has knocked yours
from its high branch in your chest
Tara Hardy

THE NINE

By Tara Hardy They call it dissociation.
I call it THE NINE (children)
who live inside me.
Each of them encased
in amber, frozen in a mosquito-pose
Cynthia Guardado

Waiting for a Greyhound Bus at the Los Angeles Station

By Cynthia Guardado A black woman stands with two toddlers hanging off her hips.
Her balance is perfect as she pushes her luggage with one leg,

the boys curl into her shoulders unaware of how
they all slide forward. I offer her my help. Her face is serious
beyza ozer

When I Kiss You, A Casket Opens

By beyza ozer this is not terrorism

this is toxic masculinity

made in the USA

when my mother hears

about orlando

she doesn't look at me
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