By Indran AmirthanayagamI 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.
By River 瑩瑩 Dandelionmy 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]
By Khadijah QueenLet’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
By Gisselle YepesAnd in twenty-five days, we make a year without
Tio Freddy alive, without his flesh inhaling
cigarettes or bud once filled with wind
like that winter after Wela died, the only winter
we got with him here, we walked
every time we linked
downstairs to smoke, to watch the trees
mirror our empty.
By emet ezelli bought her a shitty ass chicken sandwich.
$18.59 and dripping with oil—
my grandmother. she blessed
the meal for ten minutes before
taking a bite. poured out devotion like
gasoline. like pepsi cola. we knew then
that she was dying, but i lived
in the first paragraph, unprepared.
By Vickie VértizThe men inside the Pep Boys wear blue work shirts. Fingerprints on the hems. That’s
how I’m going to be: my hands with grease that won’t wash off. Like Apá buying Freon.
Fenders. My sister sniffs the little trees, outlines the posing girls with her eyes. We buy
peanuts and their candy turns our palms to red
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