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Aniyah Smith

and maybe black girl magic ...

By Aniyah Smith And maybe black girl magic stemmed from our ability to become vanishing acts.
To disappear with the night
or with the turn of someones cheeks.
To go without a sound.
Without a word.
Without nobody seeing nothing.
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.
Leslie McIntosh

Epistle: Disobedience Operates Across Time & Space

By Leslie McIntosh Imal, direct action protest visible from satellite is time travel, is binge-watching the future. Your optic nerves can reach where no lung has emptied, and speak back with authority, so what is the meaning of witness? Imal, when I see your lover’s face, I am seeing what it has become, in spite of you, and everyone. And what does he see?
Jenny Xie

Lineage

By Jenny Xie One of the sent-down rusticated youth

Xia xiang: shuttled to the villages to work a steamed pot of land

Her austere fatigues and chatty pigtails
Kit Yan

At the Medicaid Office

By Kit Yan They are giving out Turkeys at the Public Assistance office,
Wrapped in plastic,
The legs folded in, balled for convenience,
You must have had to write your name on a raffle ticket,
I came too late to see the process.
Yona Harvey

The River Wanderer

By Yona Harvey There was a river turned to Goddess. Was kin to river turned to Flame.

As a child I dreamt that river. None could keep me from that vision.

They lowered me in the Mighty Waters. Lowered me in the Creek of Shame.
Kay Ulanday Barrett

Aunties love it when seafood is on sale

By Kay Ulanday Barrett In summertime, the women
in my family spin sagoo
like planets, make
even saturn blush.
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