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Purvi Shah

Saraswati praises your name even when you have no choice

By Purvi Shah You had a name no one
could hold between their
teeth. So they pronounced
Sylvia Beato

a good woman would never

By Sylvia Beato for years you told no one
how you cried yourself to sleep
after the doctor held your hand

Christopher Soto

THE AESTHETICS OF SUFFERING

By Christopher Soto I’m his // retired slut // on food stamps // forever
Sniffing horse tranquilizer // seeing digital dreams
Like a kitten // with eyes sewn shut // like syzygy
Esther Lin

Spratly and Paracel

By Esther Lin After learning his appointment was canceled
and his senior bus won’t come for another two
hours my father calls from his waiting room
Wo Chan

my mother watches her mother’s funeral footage again

By Wo Chan She closed the doors
and then the blinds
and then her face, midday.
Ellen Kombiyil

Deported

By Ellen Kombiyil We are on the plane now
crossing ocean. The pressurized
air is sweet not stale never
stale, the cabin set for
Purvi Shah

Shooting for the Sky

By Purvi Shah Under sky massaged by sun, from a comfortable chair, I watch
the rain stroke a myrtle tree. Naked
rain, my father says. Naked,
Aracelis Girmay

YOU ARE WHO I LOVE

By Aracelis Girmay You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats
Samantha Thornhill

House of the Rising

By Samantha Thornhill Give thanks to your mansion
of a mama in that cold square room

the push and pull
of breath that brought
Aracelis Girmay

excerpt from “the black maria”

By Aracelis Girmay Aracelis Girmay performs an excerpt from the book "The Black Maria" at the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
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