Sea of Sorrow

TIIA MCKINNEY
Sparkling dark blue waters violently crashed over my head, / They pinned me under their strong currents, forcefully grabbing me in a chokehold / I desperately inhaled, trying to taste the salty air on my tongue, / Instead salty water crashed past / my lips, over my tongue, to the back of my throat, past my tonsils,…Continue Reading Sea of Sorrow

Broken Hinges

GRACIE ROWLAND
I slammed the door in Hope’s face and told Her / I was better off alone, my pride too brazen to realize that good intentions / Matter more than harsh words spoken over late night calls. / I was too ashamed to apologize back then, too ashamed of the broken hinges I left. …Continue Reading Broken Hinges

Lamplight

LELAND CULVER
Your face I thought your face I wished your face would long have left me, gone away, above. / Unharmed, although below I go, except for silent wishing, occasionally fishing for unhurried hypothetic love. / But glinting in the dark, your eyes espy my every dreaming thought like burning violet embers I remember once were blue….Continue Reading Lamplight

Top Ten Reasons Why Black Boys Play Basketball

KALIDAS SHANTI
1) Another boy can throw his ass within the pocket of your hips in public. 2) It is a way to show off one’s new kicks, and say, “I got more after wearing these down,” even if that is far from the truth. 3) We battle with the ball, so the court is where we learn what it is to win, what it is to lose. We no longer have to jump a boy, mouth loaded with threats and a knife or hammer at our hips….Continue Reading Top Ten Reasons Why Black Boys Play Basketball

Staat und Mauer

ROSS KILPATRICK
Honecker gave the order / To shoot on the inner wall / So comrades died, piled up / Under the American red and whites / Of western Coca-Cola signs // But before the BDR Richter, / Honekcer pleaded / ohne juristische oder / moralische Schuld / For humane end / And to Chile he fled…Continue Reading Staat und Mauer

It Will Pass?

A’CORA HICKSON

There’s a difference / Between being alone and being lonely / You can crave to be alone / Crave to be still / In the room / In the space / In the world / But being lonely hits you like a speck of dust / Falling on your arm / It sits and waits on the ledge / Praying / Planning / Its next attack / It goes unnoticed / In the room / In the space / In the world…Continue Reading It Will Pass?

In Focus

TARA ALAHAKOON
I adapted to life out of focus. // My world was an impressionist painting: earthy hues blended the landscape as swaths / of grey streaked across the sky. // Silouettes danced in and out, / their edges fuzzy. // Like an artist, I played with light….Continue Reading In Focus

Though Untrue

ROSS KILPATRICK
Though rivers make untrue / that Land is borderless / (we aren’t mermaids / to intermingle with the sea) / I wish I were / a freshwater octopus, / all kisses and soft touches, / For bones are such a burden / to us, the nationless / and lying in the depths / letting little death sing / there’d be no shame…Continue Reading Though Untrue

Reunion

TAPTI SEN
Please come sit next to me- / I want to lay my head in your lap and / whisper about the boy you love / as you braid flowers in my hair. Once, / I knew you like I knew myself, and / now, I wonder if history is all we / have left….Continue Reading Reunion

Fall Relapse

ZOE ALARCON
As the leaves succumb to a coral shade / You’re reminded of your own freshness / How with each summer comes as naturally a deep renewal / A solidifying of insights / But its fragile underpinnings are also suddenly more visible / And the trees’ tactless, rapid shedding / rekindle your sympathy for your own dead leaves…Continue Reading Fall Relapse

If I Let It Happen

QUINCY SMITH
The inside of my palms are dirty / From the concrete blocks I sat on // The concrete was pressing against my palm / Creating a print in shape of pebbles // I look down and see the shape this concrete drew on my hand / My fists clench and unclench // Almost as if its searching for feeling / Almost as if i’m not feeling and I need to move to feel…Continue Reading If I Let It Happen

A Brief Odyssey of Grief

black and white photo of someone staring at the sky

ZOE AKOTO
It’s something like six a.m. when I roll downstairs / and you’re already there, making coffee. // We manage smiles, faint good mornings / pre-caffeine triumphs, even on a good week, / and I slip past you, put on the tea kettle / and settle in at the end of the counter. / It’ll take longer than it should. / I still fill the kettle for two cups, / less on instinct now and more / in defiance / and I wonder when I’ll quit that….Continue Reading A Brief Odyssey of Grief