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Marjan Naderi

Learning My Name

By Marjan Naderi In first grade, I told kids my name was Sarah.
Saw the way Sarah lifted the curtain
But never cleared the confusion
white enough for no one to ask questions.
Angelique Palmer

God or a Lottery Ticket in a Black Woman’s Purse

By Angelique Palmer Trying to find faith
in a world that is slowly killing me and blaming me for why they can’t do it right

or why survival might be the only thing in the way of enjoying life
Cherryl T. Cooley

Say-So

By Cherryl T. Cooley =POET, I believe you [stop] Mean well [stop] Do well [stop] Bring teeth’s teeth for your bite [stop] Make your ditties and dirges hum [stop]
Shauna M. Morgan

how to make her stay

By Shauna M. Morgan tell her the new fragrance is nice but she doesn’t have to bathe in it
assert that sarcasm is a talent

tell her that her salwar or lappa is weird and take her to the mall for khakis
do so until she stops wearing that colorful garb
Karenne Wood

The Poet I Wish I Was

By Karenne Wood 1. A white poet whose work I admire said she feels most inspired on her daily four-mile walk through a forest.

2. I wish I had time to walk four miles daily. I can usually manage one mile with dogs. My dogs are distractible, and they distract me.
Joseph Green

Talk Ugly

By Joseph Green The last time I saw you alive
I wish I would’ve talked ugly to you.

Said, “Put the straw down. No,
I don’t want to take another line,
I should be writing them.
Majda Gama

Sexton Nights

By Majda Gama I wanted to be Her Kind, to go out a hennaed hand-
maiden, sneak across the rooftops of Jeddah dome-by-dome,
until I reached the coastline of the eternal bride.
Deborah A. Miranda

Almost Midnight

By Deborah A. Miranda Wife and dogs have gone to bed.
I sit here with the front door open.

Crickets sing patiently, a long lullaby
in lazy harmony. Rain falls

M. F. Simone Roberts

Helicopter: A Demilitarization

By M. F. Simone Roberts Begin with da Vinci’s hybrid
of spring and top, of wood and iron,
and completely non-aerodynamic,
then crystallize the blue of the lagoon
Katherine E. Young

Mo(u)rning Poem

By Katherine E. Young This is the poem meant for this mo(u)rning,
now the winds have died down,
the dogwood’s unclenched its frightened fists,
and the morning’s calling
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