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Ladan Osman
My mother walked Liido Beach every morning when pregnant. I know the mineral scent of saltwater wherever I am. If the sun bakes the metal of earth, if my own damp scalp sweats, if I hold my hennaed palms to my face.

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Susan Laughter Meyers
What falls from the sky is not always rain or any kind of weather. Call it precipitous. I'm fooling myself, of course. Wearing sorrow is nothing like skin shedding water. It's more like the weight of a cloak of crows.

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In this poem, Girmay conjures litany as means to connect, insistently, to and in the face of loss. As a form, it hinges on the tension between repetition and transformation, between closure and inclusiveness. It mirrors the way one might go about breaking a wall or learning to love.

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Aracelis Girmay
But to be perfectly clear, my enemies are not hungry. They are not standing in lines for food, or stretching rations, or waiting at the airports to claim the pieces of the bodies of their dead. My enemies ride jets to parties.

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Chad Abushanab
There are things you can't learn over the phone, like how each day your mother's losing weight. Her hug has turned to a burlap sack of bones. You imagine it sharp and cold. Her heart beats jaggedly. There's dark beneath her eyes.

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Martha Silano
when pigeon guillemots gulp Doritos bags, there's no room in a gut for a mollusk, a morsel of crab. Punches holes in their organs. Strips parts. Scraps scripts. When birds chew Blowpop wrappers, guzzle Glad bags, courtship desists.

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Jake Skeets
He is headlights; two boys quickly push off each other. Commas dangling like belt buckles from their ankled jeans as they run out to the brushes.

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Liu Tsung-Yuan (translated from the Chinese by Red Pine)
A thousand mountains and not a bird flying ten thousand paths and not a single footprint an old man in his raincoat in a solitary boat fishes alone in the freezing river snow

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Martha Collins
another beach, the last one we walked together, hand in hand in the August sun, and I walked on while you rested there, and now it is winter and I am here with almost the last of you in my hand

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Sara Ryan
I learn the word for willow tree. I learn the word for howl and keep it in my throat. the word for wolf curls underneath my tongue. I have studied pain this way—

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