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Kathleen Hellen

Belly Song

By Kathleen Hellen I sit in the front row of
bleachers -- cheap seats for greater grief.
My son
Judith Arcana

Can Safety Matches Make Us Safe?

By Judith Arcana You read the tiny cardboard book before
you scratch the strip under Augie's New Pizza
on the back of MIA:We still don't know
Robin Coste Lewis

Verga

By Robin Coste Lewis Before leaving her they put stones in her vagina
The men will only be raped but the stones will be killed
The bush caught many men to go into the stones
Alicia Ostriker

Laundry

By Alicia Ostriker Just finished folding laundry. There's the news. A slender prisoner, ankles shackled, nude back and legs striped by a brown substance you might take for blood but which probably is feces, hair long, arms extended at shoulder level like a dancer or like Jesus, walks toward a soldier with rolled-up pants and a gun, posed legs akimbo in the tiled corridor. I cannot say from the image if the soldier is smiling, too few pixels to tell.
Bonnie Naradzay

Hanover County Jail, Commonwealth of Virginia

By Bonnie Naradzay Lunch today for the inmates means white bread
and a slice of baloney. Dinner is more of the same.
The limit now - two meals a day to stay in budget.
Scott Hightower

Rubber Dollie

By Scott Hightower Like a dancer covered in nothing
but white powder, then sponged
with coarse brown makeup;
Rashida James-Saadiya

Rain Dance

By Rashida James-Saadiya we scatter
dodge words that rip into flesh
hide from clenched fist
Yvette Neisser Moreno

So This Is How They Decided to Take Him

By Yvette Neisser Moreno So this is how they decided to take him—
at the end of his life,
his frame shrunken, his wild rambling days over
Judith Roche

Throw Aways

By Judith Roche They are only boys, though murderers and rapists.
Bad skin is an issue. Candy bars a treat.
Some are fathers. Few have fathers.
Tiffany Higgins

Aeneas & the pilgrim child set out into the city

By Tiffany Higgins I shall build a city upon a hill
and upon a hill and upon a hill and upon a hill
I am a little shepherd piping low
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