“#BlackLivesMatter)” by Keri Withington

For the good of the Fatherland,
              i know why the others aren’t here the girls with
              purple-black eyes the boys with boys the priests
              who sermonize and the Jews the Jews the Jews
              houses sit empty stare not one says any thing no
              one trusts any know no-one wants to look any
Keep eyes ahead.
Don’t blink.
              i cross my heart i hope to die i have a secret if
              you promise if you hope to die but i never
              told you they asked questions i told you they
              are watching the gaps watch the spaces be-
              tween furnaces make life-room make space to

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“A Guide to Violence” by Kandace Siobhan Walker

  1. have a body.1
  2. abandon the gender you were assigned at birth.2
  3. name social structures which shape & govern your reality.
  4. name trauma. name the classes who inflict trauma on bodies like ours.
  5. remove a history book from its shelf and light a match.
  6. practice empathy.3
  7. walk naked into the street, demanding reparations.
  8. adopt english as a mother language, when you’ve no other choice.
  9. disobey the state by giving birth.
  10. talk in dialect, like you never left the motherland. learn to code-switch.4
  11. name the women you love & who love you.5
  12. design new vocabularies to voice your lived experiences.
  13. navigate.
  14. mourn the dead, thank them for what they left behind.
  15. demand what you are wrongly denied.6
  16. be vulnerable, sometimes. when it suits you. be kind.7
  17. protect what you love.

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“Boxcar” by David-Matthew Barnes

A screenplay for a short film

Adapted from the one-act play

BOXCAR

EXT. AN ABANDONED TRAIN YARD; A SMALL AMERICAN TOWN – NIGHT

The night is providing a false sense of calm.

The hour is late.

Beyond a quiet, remote gas station is a cemetery for trains.

Stillness blankets the train yard. Empty, rusted rail cars litter the space, discarded and long forgotten.

Beyond the perimeter of a broken chain-link fence, the landscape is sparse and the horizon is endless. In the distance, a faint glow and flicker of lights indicates civilization exists in the form of a small town.

From opposite ends of the yard, two young men approach.

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“The Tall Grass” by Sharif Shakhshir

The tall grass grows
at the northern edge of the peninsula
where rodents scuttle like electricity.
Mom says, “There is evil out there:
monsters, thieves, gamblers,
and people who aim to gain from your failure.
But there are no badges of honor
for staying home.
The way a brush must leave the pallet
to make something great,
you must leave.

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“The Theatre Department” by Christine Stoddard

When you study acting as a biracial girl in the South,
            you will never portray Scarlett O’Hara,
            only ever Mammy
            because your program head does not think “protagonist”
            when she sees a mulatto.
You are an accessory, like the dogwoods that dot a plantation.

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Werewolves: Poem by and Interview with David Aristi

by
Seth Copeland, Publishing Editor
Sydney Vance, Senior Poetry Editor

Werewolf Viejo
By David Aristi

Gold been beaten outta me by
Every passing year, lo que queda
Funciona despacio — what’s left
Works slowly.
The beastly things
I miss, but in war, South Central, or in Juarez
Juárez La Jodida
Or think Aleppo, those goat & sheep sins would be laughable
Today

Confieso porque me he vuelto demasiado viejo para presidió
I confess because I just turned too old for hoosegow:
I’d need Viagra for the Moon now: I can bathe for hours in
Her boob milk light and still remain
A pure old man standing in the night,
Tan Viejo que hecha de menos odiar su bastón
So old that he misses hating his walking stick.
I’ve been known to bring dead pigeons
To the doormat of the widow
To express my affections, but leaving room for doubt, for kicks.
Till one day on Christmas I show up with a feather in my hat

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Featured: “Millionaire” by Mab Jones

When we think of love, we see big, romantic gestures, flowers, and long kisses in the rain, but it’s so much more than that. Mab Jones, poet and writer, reminds us in her poem “Millionaire” that love is a collection of simple moments, quirks, and affectionate interaction.

mabjones.com

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