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Sasa Aakil

Black Mermaids and Swimming and Red Hair and Ancestry

By Sasa Aakil They say, Ariel could never be black.
That black folks don't have red hair and can't swim no how.
They list all the reasons we have no right to this title
and I can only think of Hasan.

Brown skin boy with hair red as fire.
Quick wit, quick smile.
Born with sunset resting atop his head like crown.
Jose Hernandez Diaz

Ode to My Older Sister, Letty, for Being the First in the Family to Go to College

By Jose Hernandez Diaz I’m not sure if you knew it at the time, but you showed us, your younger siblings,
A great example. Maybe you were just happy going away to college,

Away from the responsibilities of watching over younger siblings all the time,
But I always remembered having pride when I’d tell people my sister

Is an English major and even more so when you became a teacher.
Samah Serour Fadil

prongs into the nation

By Samah Serour Fadil it’s never enough to simply exist as humans
lands get involved
between folds of skin & folds of a bill
it’s funny how money changes situations
twists straight roads ahead to fit lie into truth
Nathan McClain

Q: Is there anything you miss about your life back then?

By Nathan McClain On one of those evenings you found yourself walking back, now that much of what daylight was left had moved on, as though some argument had long been settled and nothing lay ahead but a row of muted streetlamps and the future, of course, immediate, shimmering which, let’s face it, you were always going back to despite any guilt you still carried like a flashlight
Adeeba Shahid Talukder

Mehfil

By Adeeba Shahid Talukder Tonight,
the beloved ascends
the rungs of stars;

seated on a mirrored
cushion, she is both spectacle
and witness,

both of the mehfil
and its all-seeing god.
Rena Priest

Basket Lady and Greater Evils

By Rena Priest We tell our children stories
to keep them by our side:
Basket lady will get you.
She’ll put you in her basket
and carry you away,
deep into the forest
jason b. crawford

A Double Sonnet For the River

By jason b. crawford and because this is a poem about joy, it too must have a river flowing
from its greedy jaws. i have only learned how to speak about joy
as an offering to a god i will never understand.
Sacha Marvin Hodges

billie holiday, handcuffed to her deathbed

By Sacha Marvin Hodges I have a fear
so metal
it makes traffic
Roya Marsh

i flipped a table once.

By Roya Marsh cups, plates, scattered
spaghetti massacre on laps.
all the restaurant alert
&this ga'damn tv
sayin' WE lost!

white girls vanish
the whole world grit they teeth,
but a black girl's disappearance
warrants city wide curfews;
a second silencing
60 black girls ghost //
in the nation's capital
&my phone never rang about it!
River 瑩瑩 Dandelion

Sometimes Oral History Comes Off Recorder as Poem or, Birth Story

By River 瑩瑩 Dandelion my mother mimics her body
stick bug straight
arms plastered to side

[i was in labor for three days
in a hospital bed in Brooklyn
the lighting was harsh for your eyes]
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