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Janine Mogannam

When I am asked How Are You?? during the genocide of my people

By Janine Mogannam “I’m
pretty awful, all things considered. A few weeks ago
I couldn’t eat anything and now I’m constantly starving.
I know that’s a terrible thing to say.
I think my house plants might be dying but I’m not really sure?
They’re sad and limp-necked. I guess that’s a metaphor.
Kat Abdallah

Performativity

By Kat Abdallah My teachers ask me
after seven months of genocide
if I’m holding up alright.
Aiya Sakr

Shahrazad, circa 2024

By Aiya Sakr On the day of the first flour massacre,
nothing I have ever said has been untrue.

Fourteen thousand and three hundred white
PVC flags flutter in the early spring morning.

By the time I cross the lawn, the IDF have killed
another child, and another flag springs up

Like a poppy.
This simile is too easy.
Vievee Francis

A WOMAN AT THE BOOKSTORE READING WONDERS HOW I MADE THE LEAP FROM MY FIRST BOOK [...]

By Vievee Francis A WOMAN AT THE BOOKSTORE READING
WONDERS HOW I MADE THE LEAP FROM MY FIRST BOOK
TO MY SECOND WHICH WON AN AWARD

She wants me to know how “different” my poetry is
one book to the next, preferring my second book that leaves her
blameless
Arumandhira Howard

Soft Black Girl Aesthetic

By Arumandhira Howard We are made shy / sun, kissing another heartless / night awake. We are made satin silking / pompon locs. Cotton, banana pudding, baby’s / breath. These cornbread thighs, our blessed butterfly / knives. We are made to de-stem hardened men like bull-headed / bougainvillea.
Opal Moore

Spring Mix, for Ahmaud

By Opal Moore A small bird built a secret nest
beneath my balcony. There must be
hatchlings there, out of view.
She flies back and forth, small prey
in her beak.

Some kind of wren, I think.
Small, brown and quick. No time for
singing midday. Duty
is her instinct.
Gbenga Adesina

PARADISE

By Gbenga Adesina North of the country, a road led to the desert.
Dust was the first sentence. The Sahara
was a white darkness in the distance,
and beyond it the glint of a Great Lake.
We drove past fields of ginger and wild purple onions.
There was a public garden and a ring of white egrets
around still water.
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
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