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Moncho Alvarado

Dear Hermano

By Moncho Alvarado Again people are being taken away,
I read the news of kids
like your daughter & son,
like our family, our neighbors,

they wake in a state of temporary,
that lasts longer & longer &
longer than we can remember.
Sacha Marvin Hodges

billie holiday, handcuffed to her deathbed

By Sacha Marvin Hodges I have a fear
so metal
it makes traffic
Arao Ameny

[United States] Altered States

By Arao Ameny in this other world
Amadou Diallo pulls out his wallet
41 bullets from three policemen recede back
into their guns like water on the coast of Guinea that crawls
and runs back to the Atlantic Ocean
each salty drop mouths a bullet and eats it whole
little fires disappear
bullets are now bubbles dancing near the mouths of fish
Rose Zinnia

(Reassignment)

By Rose Zinnia a trick
of light
a sleight
of hand
a contused
grammar
KB Brookins

Love Machine

By KB Brookins All this time I thought we needed permission
to dance. Flap our imaginary wings. Schlep
sweat on our foreheads while making up moves
in every dance scene. My people are good at
dreaming up new grooves in the time it takes
one foot to pick itself up on the soul train.
Porsha Olayiwola

Rodney King Mistakes The Deep End Of His Swimming Pool For The Atlantic [...]

By Porsha Olayiwola dry land ain't never been for black folk
the earth taketh away, swallowing who
it knows to be a grieving thing- whom else
incites a fire, ignites a riot— a billy-club
built— a man from dust.
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
Faylita Hicks

After the George Floyd Protests, My Strange Dream

By Faylita Hicks Crawling out from between the legs of a woman
with my name still wetly slathered across her chin,

I cradle the lewd silk of our venom
up against the hot swell of my caged chest, wade out

through her front door, into the murky billows
of the damned and the damnable,
Aurielle Marie

gxrl gospel ii: when thrown against a sharp white background

By Aurielle Marie I always   feel  Black, y’ know? | I close my eyes at night & the tar behind them lids | ain’t nearly as dark as me | I wake to a thousand white daggers
Ashna Ali

Social Distance Theory

By Ashna Ali On an assemblage of screens on another firework evening
Ruthie Gilmore reminds us that abolition is not recitation.
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