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Reginald Dwayne Betts

Elegy Ending With a Cell Door Closing

By Reginald Dwayne Betts & the Judge told him to count
The trees in the parking lot
Where there were only cars: Zero
The same number of stars
You could see on a night in the city.
Nicole Homer

The shortest prayer I was ever taught was

By Nicole Homer no: what other name could a god have:

I named my son after my dead
grandfathers: blood and not blood

gather around the bent-corner Kodak
altar:
heidi andrea restrepo rhodes

After all references to transgender Americans are scrubbed from government websites…

By heidi andrea restrepo rhodes for you are made of light & flesh, voice & shimmer
no amount of scrubbing will eliminate the shine, you

luminesce, your tired heart
lingers in the dusky dawn liminal, blue

is the color of your name, a shade
in view now, harnessed in the eye centuries
Gabriel Ramirez

Before going to the Barbershop

By Gabriel Ramirez I gotta call my barber Eric to
let him know I’m pullin’ up. Yo hello?
Yea yea who this? ahhhh yo what up homie?
How you been kid?
Franny Choi

You’re So Paranoid

By Franny Choi A wall of cops moves like a wall of water on a barge no beauty.

A wall of iron swallows the woman who falls to the ground and keeps
falling. There’s a video. The picture stays intact (again).

It’s not pretty, meaning it’s hard to watch.
George Abraham

the ghosts of the dead sea rewrite the history of drowning

By George Abraham sink [ the bodies ] sink [ unholy ] sink [ in their own ] sink sink [ home ] sink [ the bodies ] sink [ i lift ] sink [ zion's expense ] sink [ in skin ] sink [ & bone ] sink sink [ coarse & crystalline ] sink sink [ & wound ] sink sink [ i swallow ]
Meg Day

Origin Calling

By Meg Day In the dangerous years
everyone took lovers

but us.
Mahogany L. Browne

excerpt from “Nation Induced Disorder”

By Mahogany L. Browne if my mother were ever convicted for her addiction like my father I wonder
who I would be robbing now

the data from the Fragile Families Study say
my kind of survival displays more behavioral problems
& early juvenile delinquencies
Arisa White

My Dead

By Arisa White Everybody she died another is dead everybody
dead and AIDS of AIDS my dead she is
there are more I know with the same story hiding
lips stitched hesitant to speak of someone you knew
Deborah Paredez

Walls and Mirrors, Fall 1982

By Deborah Paredez The English translation of my surname is walls
misspelled, the original s turned to its mirrored
twin, the z the beginning of the sound for sleep.
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