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Chrysanthemum

Alias

By Chrysanthemum Scheduling a follow-up with my PCP, I prepare
for disaster. Inevitable as flood, I hush a moniker
kept in confidence, wager my informed consent

for a Hancock granting passage. Gates are flimsy
metaphors. It’s more of a worn-down levee, dike
ready to burst without notice.
Sahar Muradi

What Fell, and Other Ways of Seeing August 15th

By Sahar Muradi K says what fell?
R says prices have shot up
I says our people did not fall
M says we have so much more to lose if we leave
R says the gardens are still awash in green
N says he was arrested
S says he is still dubbing films, just quietly
R says a mother sits in the road shrieking at every passing car
Rena Priest

Basket Lady and Greater Evils

By Rena Priest We tell our children stories
to keep them by our side:
Basket lady will get you.
She’ll put you in her basket
and carry you away,
deep into the forest
Indran Amirthanayagam

The Days After

By Indran Amirthanayagam I have not had a drink in ten
days, I declared to my close
friends, spilling the news
as well to a fellow passenger

on the bus, and earlier to birds
I greeted as I sauntered off into
the day with a constitutional
by the graves.
River 瑩瑩 Dandelion

Sometimes Oral History Comes Off Recorder as Poem or, Birth Story

By River 瑩瑩 Dandelion my mother mimics her body
stick bug straight
arms plastered to side

[i was in labor for three days
in a hospital bed in Brooklyn
the lighting was harsh for your eyes]
Khadijah Queen

Since the pandemic is over

By Khadijah Queen Let’s skip past the facts, uncounted
deaths, pretend the seas of free faces soothe &
vaccines can protect us, you, me, my loves, stuck home
since early 2020, but I saw the slide
happening sooner, got sick mid-fall
2019 on the plane home from London, locked myself in
my cold bedroom so no one else would suffer,
held my sick breath under blankets &
heated ginger & honey & lemon & garlic &
clove & cayenne concoctions on the stove for six days.
Recovery took the rest of October & November too
but I kept my family well & since the pandemic is
over, I’m often the only masked one
left in any room
Arao Ameny

[United States] Altered States

By Arao Ameny in this other world
Amadou Diallo pulls out his wallet
41 bullets from three policemen recede back
into their guns like water on the coast of Guinea that crawls
and runs back to the Atlantic Ocean
each salty drop mouths a bullet and eats it whole
little fires disappear
bullets are now bubbles dancing near the mouths of fish
antmen pimentel mendoza

A Stroll Through the Museum of My Gender Ending with a Minor Capitulation to Commodity Fetishism

By antmen pimentel mendoza The memory palace has an all gender bathroom
and I’m not the middle figure in the half-skirt,
half-pants chimera outfit, but I do like to piss

in a single-stall situation. On the couch
is the heavy blanket that kept me Catholic. Going
up the stairs is an act of poise and in the kitchen

is a lemon, wedged and pledged. Under the bed
is the laser printed felt, the earrings I drew
onto my lobes and my cheeks flush, burning.
Lara Atallah

meat market

By Lara Atallah after Lebanon, a country with one of the worst economic crises since the nineteenth century

the price of bread has gone up again. throngs of cars
slouch towards shuttering gas stations. the currency, a farce

with each swing of the gavel, numbers
soar. fifty thousand pounds by day’s end,

what’s another ten thousand? or a hundred thousand?
a hundred and forty thousand pounds to the dollar?
Nancy Huang

Nancy Builds a UFO

By Nancy Huang I build a UFO. I paint it
sparkly purple like the best sex bruise

you ever got. I line
my foil aircraft with crystals

humming different vibrations.
I woo the shit out of this

engine battery. Rocket fuel and
hard rock swing.
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