Alora Young

“For a Black Girl” When you hear the words “for a black girl” you probably think of nothing at all… because unless you live the violence that is suffering in silence nothing wrong with those words crosses your mind because you can’t see the boys who ruined my birthday by making monkey noises at us…

Bethany Fajardo Howard

El Castillo above the sea waves watches the stout Castillo built by Spanish hands   the ghosts of soldiers long since passed are immortal in its garitas   darkness of past years is remembered in cells of Torre Antigua   the vain elegance of San Felipe’s kingly might is carved in stone   today another…

Celia Bland

Damned Nantahala Lake was created by Duke Power as part of the New Deal’s electrification project.  It flooded the Cherokee town of Aquone, first mapped by conquistador Hernando De Soto in 1540.    Tobacco clots before it’s combed.   Call it cash crop and cuss its shag clotted, combed, carded, and shredded like Carolina barbeque….

Rachel Stewart

The Plainest Ring He builds her houses in the trees so she can sleep When she wakes, he brings her milk and bread for breakfast   They sit on the branches together, watching the sky change colors   One day, he asks her for the plainest ring she can find She says she doesn’t know…

Miguel Guerreiro Lourenço

CALLOUSES AND BROKEN LINES   The sun had burnt his hands ever so slightly, like the colour of black tea touched by milk. Unsweetened and rough, bruises and scars dotted his skin. A worker’s hands, his mother said. There were lines and curves, fleshy and raw, some ran down his fingers, others adorned the knuckles….

Shirley Jones-Luke

There’s No Luxury in Poverty   My family was poor   government cheese     free box of food for Thanksgiving   sleeping on a cot until I was in my twenties    couldn’t afford a bed    roaches & rats as roommates   emergency room visits drained limited funds   doctor or medicine or rent or food    going out was a treat…

Roberta Senechal de la Roche

Nor’easter   Do not say I wanted to lie with you just to make an end of journeys, to make a wave. I could always swim to land, alone.   I could take everything you lost and more but we have so little time to find a transept in this storm, what kinds of things…

Robert Walicki

Birdman   I’m not supposed to know it, The name for this place— No signs, as if everyone here has been here before, I shouldn’t need to ask directions   To the doors opening to the sounds of electricity, The dirty buzzer opening me to a room even dirtier,   To Glenn, whom I’ve seen…

Aden Thomas

He Runs into the Wind   This is not a Wyoming love story. There are no beautiful sunsets here, no, not in this tale; no cowboys and cowgirls dressed up like mannequins in a Wrangler store, no flash where your grandfather caught your grandmother’s eye at some dinner party out on the deck at someone’s…

Danielle Hanson

Building a Mountain   Piling rocks isn’t so hard.  You do the same thing One wheelbarrow after another. The dirt comes for free as the rocks settle. Maybe jump on them a few times to be certain. The paths are there from the wheelbarrow tracks. Simple, really.  And once it’s tall enough, By God, some…