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Gabriel Ramirez I gotta call my barber Eric to
let him know I’m pullin’ up. Yo hello?
Yea yea who this? ahhhh yo what up homie?
How you been kid?
Mahogany L. Browne if my mother were ever convicted for her addiction like my father I wonder
who I would be robbing now
the data from the Fragile Families Study say
my kind of survival displays more behavioral problems
& early juvenile delinquencies
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.
Jenny Xie One of the sent-down rusticated youth
Xia xiang: shuttled to the villages to work a steamed pot of land
Her austere fatigues and chatty pigtails
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.
Jeanann Verlee In a humble, godless house
you moved through youth like any girl.
Dolls & other toys, yours,
Sharon Olds They put roofs over our heads.
Ours was made of bent tiles,
so the edge of the roof had a broken look,
Melissa Tuckey Unable to sleep,
the blankets wrapped in waves, waves
as tall as dreams,
the dream world trying to make sense
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.
Saida Agostini jabari says fuck that, harriet wasn’t trying turn the underground into henrietta’s. but shit, I want a hero, a full on black queer woman