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Darius Simpson

ma’am, i’m sorry to tell you, your son is d-

By Darius Simpson dangerously good at freeze tag, like ghost good
drenched in red puddles, but on his way
down by the gutter river
Alexis Smithers

[Untitled]

By Alexis Smithers Standing in line, waiting to go into the Library of Congress
a black woman stands two people ahead of me and
a white security guard says to her,
It’s a beautiful day.
Maren Lovey Wright-Kerr

darkskin

By Maren Lovey Wright-Kerr when the makeup aisle stops at “caramel”

it means
the makeup industry just thinks you already too pretty to need they products
Diana Tokaji

Post-Assault Prescription When I Fear My Spirit Dying

By Diana Tokaji Here in the mud
of my history
beneath the rage
is counsel.
Brandon Douglas

Deadlocked

By Brandon Douglas Scrolling thru my newsfeed
I saw a snapshot of a klansman with dreadlocks
It baffles me
How loud the white obsession is with blackness
torrin a. greathouse

Anti-Ode for the Transportation Security Administration

By torrin a. greathouse The body scanner says my name & my flesh are suspicious
abandoned baggage. A voice on the loudspeaker says to report
any & all unaccompanied luggage it could contain anything.
Clothes, or drugs, or a body folded economically. Utilitarian
origami. Voice on the speaker says trust no one, says anything
could be a threat.
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.
Kenneth Carroll III

saturday afternoon

By Kenneth Carroll III we ride in on the red line
our laces coming undone as we float over fair gates

until we fall into a night

ripe
with everything our tongues have been yearning for
Emmy Pérez

excerpt from “Cajas/Boxes of Zero Tolerance”

By Emmy Pérez They are the ones who were told their children
were taken to bathe—and not returned. They

are the ones whose nursing babies and toddlers
were forced to wean and left in wet diapers.
Shabnam Piryaei

nextdoor app

By Shabnam Piryaei a young man desperately buries himself under damp leaves while helicopters hunt him police laugh as he tries to hide in the foliage a neighbor with a device to eavesdrop on scanners catches this tidbit
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