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Angelique Palmer

God or a Lottery Ticket in a Black Woman’s Purse

By Angelique Palmer Trying to find faith
in a world that is slowly killing me and blaming me for why they can’t do it right

or why survival might be the only thing in the way of enjoying life
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.
Rasheed Copeland

Weed Brownies (Allegory of the Dispensary)

By Rasheed Copeland weed brownies weeds cookies weed Cheetos
lollipops and gummies what a great idea—a weed bar at the wedding
a better idea? a weed stand at the farmer’s market

the times are changing
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?
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
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.
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.
Julian Randall

Negrotopia #3 (Self Portrait as Heaven)

By Julian Randall Cue the Anthony Hamilton/and name me a mansion/tell everyone there is space here/if you
​ believe in the reincarnated/I am already somewhere/that somebody has gone/
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