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Lena Khalaf Tuffaha Behind the walls of your jails we wait
heartbeats audible now, muffled thuds
above the current of blood running thin
Amanda Gorman There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
Caits Meissner of course there were gaps I kept my eyes
shuddered up my curiosities strapped
amnesia on as a mask but only the dead do not dream.
Destiny O. Birdsong Or maybe you weren’t. Whenever I’m frightened,
anything can become a black woman in a granite dress:
scaffold for what’s to come: blue lights exploding
like an aurora at the base of the bridge;
Claire Hermann God separated the light from the darkness,
but I have a light switch.
Once there was morning and evening,
but now someone has torn the heart out of a mountain,
Zahara Heckscher This is a love song
to the invisible waves
that travel through the air
finding the antenna
Rajiv Mohabir A twist of cotton
daubed in oil
catches flame, an echo
Remica Bingham-Risher I am almost convinced this morning by the volley
of verses on each frequency, roughnecks telling it
like they want it to be, intoning You bad, baby
Truth Thomas There are fists making tom toms of eardrums,
boots kicking downbeats in skulls,
in every state of tinted circles.
Andrea Assaf Andrea Assaf performs the poem "Light Me Up" at the 2017 Freedom Plow Award Gala Celebration.