By Khadijah QueenLet’s skip past the facts, uncounted
deaths, pretend the seas of free faces soothe &
vaccines can protect us, you, me, my loves, stuck home
since early 2020, but I saw the slide
happening sooner, got sick mid-fall
2019 on the plane home from London, locked myself in
my cold bedroom so no one else would suffer,
held my sick breath under blankets &
heated ginger & honey & lemon & garlic &
clove & cayenne concoctions on the stove for six days.
Recovery took the rest of October & November too
but I kept my family well & since the pandemic is
over, I’m often the only masked one
left in any room
By Arao Amenyin this other world
Amadou Diallo pulls out his wallet
41 bullets from three policemen recede back
into their guns like water on the coast of Guinea that crawls
and runs back to the Atlantic Ocean
each salty drop mouths a bullet and eats it whole
little fires disappear
bullets are now bubbles dancing near the mouths of fish
By Lara Atallahafter Lebanon, a country with one of the worst economic crises since the nineteenth century
the price of bread has gone up again. throngs of cars
slouch towards shuttering gas stations. the currency, a farce
with each swing of the gavel, numbers
soar. fifty thousand pounds by day’s end,
what’s another ten thousand? or a hundred thousand?
a hundred and forty thousand pounds to the dollar?
By Saúl HernándezThe day Amá stopped driving, her curls became undone,
her red manicure turned pastel pink, her throat lost the sound left in it—
when a car slammed into her, pushing it towards train tracks.
The wheels of her white Oldsmobile clenched to the tracks the way a jaw latches
on to a bite.
By Porsha Olayiwoladry land ain't never been for black folk
the earth taketh away, swallowing who
it knows to be a grieving thing- whom else
incites a fire, ignites a riot— a billy-club
built— a man from dust.
By Vickie VértizThe men inside the Pep Boys wear blue work shirts. Fingerprints on the hems. That’s
how I’m going to be: my hands with grease that won’t wash off. Like Apá buying Freon.
Fenders. My sister sniffs the little trees, outlines the posing girls with her eyes. We buy
peanuts and their candy turns our palms to red
By Sunu P. ChandyAt the shiny stones and rocks booth, I am unusually patient. I even consider spending a few dollars on a few pebbles. She seemed to sense that, without me saying a word, and I could feel her heart smile.
And then in one instant, everything changed. Looking toward the cashier, she saw, just hanging out there on the wall, real guns in real life.
Page 1 of 29 pages