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Subjects: Poetry


Sea Turtle Sonnet

by Zeina Hashem Beck

Our parents stayed during the civil war.Don’t say we escaped, just that we too failed.We left Beirut on the verge of collapse& revolution. That clearing of hope,where would we be without it? Ask Ziad,who put the city on a stage & laughedat its slow ways of killing us with pillsor memory. So many of us »


& When They Come For Me (Reprise)

by Golden,

Magnolia mothers, owl eyed girls,fellow forget-me-nots, let’s gather our God-gowns down the golden gallows. We made it to the foreverfantasy where I can’t remember what war we were weaponing to win: For some secretary sex? Some back-handed brother? Some sons & uncles & Grandfatherswho forget we have a heart-dream? An ox-blood song? A maiden name? »


Letters to a Black Boy Buried in Texas

by Faylita Hicks

Dear Remnant of my Amen,          All of these hours are swinging open,doors you will never walk through. Dear Progeny of my Exhale,          So be this exile from the State; return againon virtue of your breath if it be at all an option, if not— Dear Son of »


Natal Mythos (Atlanta 1993)

by Ra Malika Imhotep

I. Grandma Sarah holds mein a reservoir of unshed tears.bring her lips to my foreheadsuck something out.set meflowing,gasping. II. Mildred Thompson heckles my father,he finds his seat, and I leapfrom his skull, full-lotus, sucklingHigh John de conqueror root,a butterfly dancingup my spine. III. My mama leans back, legs akimbo,Paulette dances obeah, Fía peersinto the beyond,Able Mable »


What We Be

by Camisha L. Jones

Hear Camisha L. Jones read “What We Be” from the Disability issue (vol. 29, no. 1: Spring 2023). An Ekphrastic poem after Beyoncé’s Lemonade We the exhaleOur confidence We the pot of greensOur hands We the floorWe every grief We the waitOur mouths We the magnolia tree the submergea ripe orange the salt porkclean the »



by Michael McFee

How well its square fit my palm, my mouth, a toasty wafer slipped onto the sick tongue or into chicken soup,   each crisp saltine a tile pierced with 13 holes in rows of 3 and 2, its edges perforated like a postage stamp,   one of a shifting stack sealed in wax paper whose »


War Supply

by Ina Cariño

there are different ways to sayscar tissue. pariah.there were plenty of us—I still feel sick when I comeeven when it’s my husband.I am called blank look. they beat us,& oftenin certain textbooksthey say the government wantedvirgins to stave off venereal disease.they gave me a modest sum.I walk with a limp.could be anyone—& I am as »


Jackson Village Road

by Marlanda Dekine

You grew from your granddaddy’s dirt and evergreen spaces. There are gorgeous collard colored-greens, ripeyellows turning to golden reds, hangingfrom brown and moss-smothered trunks, standing tallall over the land he left. A Black man, last name Jackson, quietly purchasedland from a white man and sold acres of unworkable plotsto your great-granddaddy. Your granddaddy, Silas, filled »



by Gris Muñoz

They’d long forgotten to dance—mis abuelos,rigid as the simple white wooden screen door that snappedopen and shut into grandma’s kitchen Apache and Mexicanthey’d both long forgotten to dance—long forgotten any songslong forgotten the fire On Christmas Evemy grandpa and uncles would build a bonfirefrom broken wooden pallets and jagged three-legged chairs or tables,they’d douse them »


“Rye Whisky”

by Michael McFee

I’ll eat when I’m hungry,…..I’ll drink when I’m dry;If the hard times don’t kill me,…..I’ll lay down and die. Those four forthright lines begin “Rye Whisky,” poem number 276 in The Oxford Book of Light Verse (1938), chosen and edited by W. H. Auden. But that can’t be how I first encountered them, on page »



by Nina Oteria

In a dream, you could do that. Hug someone you haven’t seen in years without crying.You could feel like you still lived in your old bedroom. You could go back to before likenothing, like magic, like the reverse of water down the drain.  I wish I could have said what I wanted to then, but »


Right there in the front yard?

by James Jabar

In an interview with NPR, Brenda Graham recounts her experience after her brother was accused in the 1958 “Kissing Case” in Monroe, North Carolina. Yes;            right there in the front yard where daddylonglegs skipped across blades of grass,            dripping in white mob sweat from the night before;             right there in the front yard whereChrist’s wooden frame was »