Starch folds over my belly
and I hide my hand beneath a leaf;
can you blame me?

My bones shift and the earth
cracks open, mouths gaping
at the promise of water.
— Roots (The Pedregal), by Jesse Rice-Evans

With work from Jesse Rice-Evans, Lysander Wong, AJ Wolff, stephanie roberts, Haily Stager, David Joez Villaverde, Jen Rouse, Christine Taylor, Ray Ball, Matt Duggan, Jenna Burns, Ryan Napier, and James Ezra.

Read it here.

 

...In the morning
we will knife each other in the soft spots

between our ribs. We will haul the blades
across and up, through the rigid sternum,

up to our necks, and there we will swear.
— Ynys, by Richard Georges

With work from Elizabeth Ruth Deyro, Stephanie Laterza, Uma Venkatraman, Joseph Birdsey, Caroline Grand-Clement, Karla Linn Merrifield, A.J. Huffman, Kersten Christianson, Pattie Flint, Richard Georges, Lori Cramer, Cass Francis, AJ Cunder, Kelsey K Larson, Maria Sledmere, Paige Price, and Jim Zola.

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...part of me wants to unravel

the charcoal branches lacing overhead to dust &
the rest of me wants to watch the girl humming

in the middle of the road, drifting nearly voiceless,
her face half shadowed & half luminous.
— & Afterwards, by Quinn Lui

With work from Ezra Lebovitz, Quinn Lui, Arlene Stark, Erendira Ramirez-Ortega, stephanie roberts, Richard Jones, Amy Kinsman, Andrew Szilvasy, Shawna Michele, Ben Davis, Alistair Bullen, and Brooke Goldman.

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In the myths, great chariots spin stepsongs
and shoulder silver star spindles. The goddess
sits upon her lotus throne in thickened sleep
and folds herself into ginger root palisades.
— Pagoda Girl, by Linda Ye

With work from S.A. Khanum, Jack B. Bedell, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Kevin Risner, Mariel Fechik, Marley Stuart, Dana Alsamsam, Stephanie Tom, Andrew Szilvasy, SK Grout, Michael Janairo, Linda Ye, Rachel Nix, Madeleine Dawn, Maria Sledmere, Sarah Bigham, Myla Thomas Fairchild, Shawna Michele, Connie Liu, Alex J. Parton, Rachel Derum, Thomas Gillaspy, Michael Anthony, and Harshal Desai.

Read it here. 

 

...Nothing quite sounds the same
after the crickets make their first call—

the world falls away and the silence births
a new night, trembling like a newborn.
— Evening in Pink, by Cindy Song

With work from Yves Olade, Cindy Song, Joseph Ellison Brockway, Melissa Rendlen, Jennifer Patino, Adam Steiner, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Justin Karcher, Christian Sammartino, Hope Martin, Alvin Park, Erin Gunther, Ben Davis, Mariana Bittermann, Harshal Desai, Ernest Williamson, and Brooke Goldman.

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Shame is insular and self contained. Listen,
she said, I am no washing machine, but I eat

detergent because of the seventh grade.
— Glutton, by Jasmine Cui

With work from Jasmine Cui, Alec Verse, Jan Wiezorek, Kendrick Loo, Madelyn McZeal, Chestina Craig, j. p. berame, Cait Potter, Kailey Tedesco, Patricia Camille Antony, Alex Poppe, Robert Boucheron, Rona Wang, Ron Gibson, Jr., Brian Barbeito, Giulia Boggio, Jessica Thwaite, and John Chavers. 

Read it here.

 

and God, i know i wasn’t much different last year
but i was kinder & my eyes didn’t burn this much;
if this is a punishment, i feel it thoroughly.
— Chapel Veil & Ripped Jeans, by kmp

With work from Jessica Liebelt, Amber D. Tran, L'Abri Tipton, Rose Knapp, kmp, Andrés Ignacio Torres, Joseph Ellison Brockway, Elizabeth Gibson, Kaja Rae, Alain Ginsberg, Linda M. Crate, Ty Kia, Cait Potter, Tom Gumbert, Helen Victoria Murray, and Jia-An Lee.

Read it here.

 

i noticed my church friends from back home grieve differently than me / to them, a death is always holy / translation: they notice i don’t say grace before my meals anymore
— Dec. 17th: Transitioning Part 1, by Jamal Parker

With work from Cait PotterMeggie Royer, Eliel Vera, Stephanie Tom, Amy Lauren, Jamal Parker, Lauren Suchenski, m. wright, Brittney Melvin, Matthew Mutiva, Ashley Loper, Matthew Woodman, Elijah Noble El, L.P. Melling, Michael Anthony, Robert Boucheron, Damien Krsteski, Melissa Mesku, Clio Velentza, Umaimah Malik, and Jill Lee. 

Read it here.

 

Your dotted body covered
in freckles and sediment,
is gloriously perfect to me.
(In a few hours, we will go back to your apartment,
and laugh and eat soup, and listen to all
of your mother’s songs on old tapes).
— Salt Ritual in B Minor, by Marilyn Schotland

With work from Marilyn Schotland, Jessie Lynn McMains, Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Yusra Amjad, Samantha Wolfe, Karese Burrows, j. p. berame, Laetitia K., Kwan Ann Tan, Tanisha Rao, Amanda Mellinger and Addison Namnoum.

Read it here.

 

...I’m sorry about the distance, the bruised fruit, that

I didn’t leave the door open. I spent

Three days in my bedroom trying to figure out if I still love you—and I don’t—and
I don’t feel like Jesus but I’ll try to walk on water
if it means letting you in again.
— Apology Poem, by Sean Glatch

With work from Alec Verse, Dhrit, Sean Glatch, Madina Malahayati, Spencer George, Nina O'Donovan, Anika Prakash, Janyn P. Berame, Jess Liebelt, Joshua Hart, Chestina Craig, Kyndal Colón, Melissa Rendlen, Ansheeta Sharma, Christian Faith Navarro, Sanjana Rajagopal, Jade Mitchell, Kennedy Johnson, Olivia Hu, Kari Astillero, Clio Velentza, Tom Gumbert, and Eleanor Sweetnam.

Read it here.