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From Cheryl Clarke:

July 11, 2019

I don’t do well with
expectation. Come up
here if it’s too cool a
story below with your
windows cracked.
Higher is warmer
in this last,
fast
phantasmic
interval.

Brief Interval

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From Mahtem Shiferraw:

July 8, 2019

these trees, blood-free and bone-dry
have come to rescue me more than once,

but my saving often requires hiding
yet they stand so tall, so slim and gluttonous

refusing to contain me; even baobab trees
will split open at my command, and

carve out fleshless wombs to welcome me.
I must fall out of love of the world

without me in it, but my loves have
long gone

We, Made of Bone

From Rosebud Ben-Oni:

July 5, 2019

Matarose never comes home
She’s hungry like a wolf
She’s rosa de mota in lacroix
all the girls hail on queens boulevard
All the views she’s killed
in the name of iman
& yasmin le bon
Mata’s quite meta
Mata means kill
Rose a curve
from the real meat of it all

Matarose Tags G-Dragon on the 7

From Zubair Ahmed:

July 2, 2019

I love my body and this world!
Such a declaration
five years ago
would’ve driven me insane.

But now an appreciation arrives
with a fine taste of sulfur
and anywhere I look is born
a rose.

Red with a Touch of Sulfur

From torrin a. greathouse

June 29, 2019

What are you searching for when you drag me from you? Your vein a riverbed dredged of impossible children. Cells tested for the echo of your mother’s name. Once you were carried in your mother, her belly a lake. If the child before you & all those after sunk, are you the blood or the water? A boat or the first unfinished wolf, wrenching itself from the sea?

Phlebotomy, as Told by the Blood

From Maya Angelou:

June 26, 2019

Curtains forcing their will
against the wind,
children sleep,
exchanging dreams with
seraphim. The city
drags itself awake on
subway straps; and
I, an alarm, awake as a
rumor of war,
lie stretching into dawn,
unasked and unheeded.

– Awaking in New York

From Katie Bickham:

May 31, 2019

In the new world, as the goddess dictated,
each time a man touched a woman against
her will, each time he exposed himself,
each time he whistled, dropped something
in her drink, photographed her in secret

she sprouted a wing from her spine. Not feathered,
like birds or angels, not cellular, translucent,
veined like dragonflies, but a wing
like a blade, like a sword hammered flat,
thin as paper. One wing per wrong.

The Blades

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