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Daria-Ann Martineau I find myself noticing you again
eight years later,
you coming out of the earth, pale,
erect, shadow over men.
You can’t be buried.
Natalie Wee I was born in 1993, the year Regie Cabico became the first
Asian American to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam.
Kimberly Blaeser Yes, it’s true I speak ill of the living
in coded ways divorced from the dead.
Why Lyla June fasts on capitol steps.
M. Kamara And a white person says racism is dead
and a white person jokes about slavery
and a white person lives unbothered
and a white person screams about immigrants
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
Jasminne Mendez It isn’t easy / to look / at what I have / cut. Which is to say — / wounded / from the body / of a tree / or a woman / or a child.
Cyrée Jarelle Johnson Black excitement is danger. We have seen the other side of optimism for so long. Feels like fiction. Put your feet up on that dashboard because here comes the F U T U R E! Wow! Chewbacca was the blackest part of "The Force Awakens."
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.
Tyler French I was gelling my hair the morning before mounting the Pilgrim’s Memorial Monument
and I found a strand of yours in the blue goop, I wasn’t able to pluck it out so I slicked
the gel through my hair, forward from the back then up in the front and up again
and your black clipping was stuck in my cowlick for the day, I know it fell out
Laura Da' I do desire—Chillicothe, Piqua, Lima
that you remain—Shawnee, Lawrence, Olathe
Wyandotte, Tecumseh—on the other side
Junction City, Fort Leavenworth, Lenexa—
of the river.