Summer/Fall 2020


4 Poems

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

But dying is a specific outcome of the world’s game. / I ask the AI what a Black solution would be. // “One that does not kill the player.”


Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction

The Blessing of the Neva

Sarah Crossland

And it was ordinary, that year, / when the artillery fired blanks, / and the glass hail panicking / the crowd vanished / where it landed, / and there was no hail, / but only the prosody of sleet.

from Catacombs

Luciana Jazmín Coronado, transl. by Allison A. deFreese

My mother warns me / that Grandmother has awakened / from death, / taken a shower / and put on a dress / over her naked body

Pareidolia

Chris Ware

For a while I thought maybe something was wrong with me, like you sort of hope there is when you're a teenager.

Something I Did Once Which I Thought Might Be Enriching

Tamar Jacobs

and the tour guide said what a shame how awful the heroin in Kensington but we would not be focusing on that today because this was an African American Iconic Hero tour and she smiled beatifically at the Black couple and the Black couple only...

Rivals

A. J. Gnuse

By the base of his steps, there was a flower pot with a sad, half-dead plant. She lifted the thing. Felt the small force of its weight against her. Stupid, she knew. But she was a container brimming over. And she needed to let something go.

One White Deer

Kara Vernor

Mom says a white deer means blood is coming. When I sleep, the forest floor is a lake of red, no matter if the deer are white or brown. A gunshot sounds.

A Prayer for the Swamp Phantoms, 1865

Allison Pinkerton

Our boys didn’t come home to the swamp after fighting the North, but James did. He came back with a phantom limb, believing he could feel the clench of the muscles that had been amputated in a surgical tent, bloody saws and chloroform rags and dirty knives.

2 Poems

Stephanie Jean

how easy it is to erase rusting yellows? / how easy to let blues blue into zombi? / how easy / is ease?

2 Poems

Samyak Shertok

Do we all migrare: pass into a new condition? / Are we all natives—nativus: born in bondage— / walking toward no-border?

Eighty-Three Questions About the Death of De’Sohn Wilson: An Ongoing Investigation

Catina Bacote

Who called Mirrellez C. Elliott and told her that her son had died in police custody? How many minutes did it take for the police to drive De’Sohn from where he was arrested in New Haven to the police station at One Union Avenue?

Who Would Rather Stay at Home Alone?

Elizabeth Miki Brina

It’s approaching midnight and this is not how I would have wanted it to happen: sitting by myself on my porch, drinking wine from the bag of a box and chain-smoking cigarettes...

Marigold

Ananya Kanai Shah

Three shades of afternoon light—gluttonous— / Salt me when I open the door / I wasn’t expecting it / Marigold mouths pout / Fresh leaves threaded to greet newcomers / What a betrayal then, to curdle with sweetness!

Apology

A. M. Kaempf

I let him stand there for a few minutes, waving his arms while he rambled on about the wonderful days of our youth. When he finally fell silent, I told him that I had no idea who he was.

4 Poems

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

But dying is a specific outcome of the world’s game. / I ask the AI what a Black solution would be. // “One that does not kill the player.”

Homage to Córdoba

Jason Christian

Late one night in April 2006, I heard an unexpected knock on my bedroom door. I lived at the time with a loose coalition of punks, anarchists, hippies, and nondenominational nonconformists in a squatted block of flats, across from rumbling tracks, in a working class suburb of Barcelona, Spain.


From the Archives

from Catacombs

Luciana Jazmín Coronado, transl. by Allison A. deFreese

My mother warns me / that Grandmother has awakened / from death, / taken a shower / and put on a dress / over her naked body

Aubade: Kitchen, 7:08 A.M.—

Kevin Phan

School bus, may you never rust, always catching scraps of children’s laughter. Add a few phrases to the sunrise, and the pinks pop...

Girl as Tautology

Jessica Hincapie

When I need my mother most I climb inside my mouth turn left at my incisor teeth turn right at the ghosts of both my grandfathers and find her dancing under the chandelier of my uvula.

The Ocean Won't Give Him Back to Us

Jane Medved

You have found out that someone dies every two seconds. This shouldn’t make you feel better, but it does.