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Tonee Mae Moll

Burning Haibun as Portrait: 9 months on HRT, Georgia on MS Word

By Tonee Mae Moll The font, not the nation, nor the southern state where lawmakers are folding the idea of the monster of my body into votes from folks whose homes they know are marked for flooding. I suppose I mean typeface—I’m supposed to remember the difference— like all exquisite things, we’ve got this etymology that feels apocryphal anyway. Anyway, let’s suppose I am a transitional shape.
Opal Moore

Spring Mix, for Ahmaud

By Opal Moore A small bird built a secret nest
beneath my balcony. There must be
hatchlings there, out of view.
She flies back and forth, small prey
in her beak.

Some kind of wren, I think.
Small, brown and quick. No time for
singing midday. Duty
is her instinct.
Gbenga Adesina

PARADISE

By Gbenga Adesina North of the country, a road led to the desert.
Dust was the first sentence. The Sahara
was a white darkness in the distance,
and beyond it the glint of a Great Lake.
We drove past fields of ginger and wild purple onions.
There was a public garden and a ring of white egrets
around still water.
Sasa Aakil

Black Mermaids and Swimming and Red Hair and Ancestry

By Sasa Aakil They say, Ariel could never be black.
That black folks don't have red hair and can't swim no how.
They list all the reasons we have no right to this title
and I can only think of Hasan.

Brown skin boy with hair red as fire.
Quick wit, quick smile.
Born with sunset resting atop his head like crown.
Glenn Shaheen

Herring

By Glenn Shaheen Somebody suggested I buy pickled
Herring in wine sauce— it didn't sound
Like a bad idea, all these conversations
Mired in capital's sloughed-off flesh.
Sacha Marvin Hodges

billie holiday, handcuffed to her deathbed

By Sacha Marvin Hodges I have a fear
so metal
it makes traffic
Arao Ameny

[United States] Altered States

By Arao Ameny in 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
Saúl Hernández

Choo-choo

By Saúl Hernández The 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.
Suzi F. Garcia

Emotional Wasteland

By Suzi F. Garcia It is April now, with its mix of sweet and snow. I stand barefoot on an apartment patio to vape. My toes curl on themselves to fight off the cold and my legs shake under my leggings. I have been drugged officially and unofficially, some would say gone, but I can feel light in my hips as they sway to the song I’m playing in my head.
KB Brookins

Love Machine

By KB Brookins All this time I thought we needed permission
to dance. Flap our imaginary wings. Schlep
sweat on our foreheads while making up moves
in every dance scene. My people are good at
dreaming up new grooves in the time it takes
one foot to pick itself up on the soul train.
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