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Alexis Smithers

[Untitled]

By Alexis Smithers Standing in line, waiting to go into the Library of Congress
a black woman stands two people ahead of me and
a white security guard says to her,
It’s a beautiful day.
Emmy Pérez

excerpts from “Cajas/Boxes with Zero Tolerance”

By Emmy Pérez In 1930, my tatarabuela still spoke Rarámuri.
Detribalized now as we’ve been from Turtle Island,
south and north of the río grande, west and east
it’s no surprise that we’re still writing about
our identities, brown women regarded
as brown women, they’d say equally as if
a consolation for any.
Kyle G Dargan

Remedial Heteronormativity

By Kyle Dargan “Man-law” I first violate at age ten—
my wandering fingers not appeased by picking
through my cousin’s video
game cartridges, Sports Illustrateds.
M. Kamara

Robert E. Lee and I Have a Staring Contest

By M. Kamara And a white person says racism is dead
and a white person jokes about slavery
and a white person lives unbothered
and a white person screams about immigrants
Diana Tokaji

Post-Assault Prescription When I Fear My Spirit Dying

By Diana Tokaji Here in the mud
of my history
beneath the rage
is counsel.
Mejdulene B. Shomali

i grew up with god in my mouth

By Mejdulene B. Shomali kept the name between gum & tooth
rolled it around like hard candy
cracked the shell of faith like sunflower seeds
spit out doubt & swallowed the sun
Brandon Douglas

Deadlocked

By Brandon Douglas Scrolling thru my newsfeed
I saw a snapshot of a klansman with dreadlocks
It baffles me
How loud the white obsession is with blackness
Malik Thompson

Self-Portrait Of The Black Boi Becoming The Monster He Always Desired To Be

By Malik Thompson Midnight is my first emotion, then starscream, bloodlust—
an impulse to sink my fangs into the nearest man’s
neck. Shotgun shells explode beneath my window,
dragging me from the grip of a ragged slumber—
the winds of this rotting city drenched in gunsmoke.
Reuben Jackson

Kelly Recalls 1963

By Reuben Jackson I still call
The year 1963
Season of Nightmares
After Medgar Evers
Was killed I
Would lie awake
And wait for
My uncle Joe
To get home
Jasminne Mendez

Machete: Look

By Jasminne Mendez It isn’t easy / to look / at what I have / cut. Which is to say — / wounded / from the body / of a tree / or a woman / or a child.
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