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Jessica Abughattas

Litany for My Father

By Jessica Abughattas Because curfews of
Because strip search at the checkpoint into
Because grandmother’s undergarments splayed on
Because two men with guns on the way to
Because grandmother saves plastic Coke liters to
Because the water could without notice be
Sacha Marvin Hodges

billie holiday, handcuffed to her deathbed

By Sacha Marvin Hodges I have a fear
so metal
it makes traffic
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
Walela Nehanda

Stem Cell Transplant as Chimera

By Walela Nehanda I am run ragged by another woman’s
immunity transplanted inside me.
I am not myself on a cellular level.
Somewhere, in my biology.
I am in Greece. I am a good woman.
Thirty five and Santorini chic.
Sharon Bridgforth

dat Black Mermaid Man Lady/dem Blessings #34

By Sharon Bridgforth Remember.

You were wild
and you were free
and you felt unloved
and unseen
and you ran the streets
and you Loved hard
and you were Loved deeply
Saúl Hernández

Choo-choo

By Saúl Hernández The day Amá stopped driving, her curls became undone,
her red manicure turned pastel pink, her throat lost the sound left in it—

when a car slammed into her, pushing it towards train tracks.
The wheels of her white Oldsmobile clenched to the tracks the way a jaw latches

on to a bite.
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
Gisselle Yepes

I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO MOURN MEN WHO HAVE NOT TRIED TO KILL ME

By Gisselle Yepes And 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.
Karla Cordero

A Conversation With Siri About Death

By Karla Cordero i watch slasher movies but hate the sight of real blood leave the body

i panic on planes & think of ways the machine or sky

will betray me i read books in fear to evaporate

out of this world without seeing its soft hands
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