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Issam Zineh

Form & Occasion

By Issam Zineh The grammarians are up
in arms, and the war over
the semicolon has been reignited.

Today, the legislator notes his preference
for certain kinds of killers. Those,
one might say, with a European sensibility.
Kyle Carrero Lopez

Torricelli

By Kyle Carrero Lopez In 1994, U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli (D-New Jersey) introduced the Cuban Democracy Act, designed to “wreak havoc on that island.”

I’ll wreak havoc on that island I’ll ravage

that island I’ll plunder

that island see torn asunder that island
Robin Gow

Chasing Helicopters on the Way Home from a Bowl of Spaghetti

By Robin Gow Someone I love is turning into an asterisk
and so I am running and the vultures are
as hungry as they’ve ever been. The size of genders.
The size of fatherhoods.
Gbenga Adesina

PARADISE

By Gbenga Adesina North of the country, a road led to the desert.
Dust was the first sentence. The Sahara
was a white darkness in the distance,
and beyond it the glint of a Great Lake.
We drove past fields of ginger and wild purple onions.
There was a public garden and a ring of white egrets
around still water.
Tala Khanmalek

alternate universe in which family is abolished

By Tala Khanmalek here, in this place,
we do not describe each other as family,
or even, as chosen
family. here, in this place,
we reckon with the ongoing past.
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]
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