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Jonathan Mendoza You ask me for my name,
and I say, “It’s pronounced Mendoza,”
and again, the Spaniard spits it out my throat,
pats me on the tongue,
tells me I have been a good subject,
and again, I have traded this empire
for my former one.
Hakim Bellamy No one woke up, that Saturday, mourning. / No one woke up that Saturday morning with intentions of becoming a back to school vigil. / No one woke up not expecting to finish out a sophomore year...that had barely be- // gun.
Lupe Mendez don’t even know where to start.
you notice when you walk into the shelter — no joke —
a new war.
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?
Laura Da' I do desire—Chillicothe, Piqua, Lima
that you remain—Shawnee, Lawrence, Olathe
Wyandotte, Tecumseh—on the other side
Junction City, Fort Leavenworth, Lenexa—
of the river.
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.
Steven Leyva a lobby shaped like a yawn, lined with lodestone
leftover from making the marquee. The congress
of picture shows and pulp flicks it seems
named this movie house, the Senator.
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 ]
Marjan Naderi In first grade, I told kids my name was Sarah.
Saw the way Sarah lifted the curtain
But never cleared the confusion
white enough for no one to ask questions.
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
with everything our tongues have been yearning for