The Girl Who Taught Me Love by Fadairo Tesleem

Photography by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa she said: “stand adjacent her window and sing  her serenades – songs that pierce minds,  arrest ears & imprison hearts – that’s another way of loving a girl without saying it.  kneel beneath her feet, behold her face  & confess what shows over it – glitters – tell her moon … Read moreThe Girl Who Taught Me Love by Fadairo Tesleem

Armistice by Nicholas Barnes

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa I wonder how he’s faring night after night in my closet. Darkness reveals his lemonseed eyes, that dear serpentine stalker, my monster. Perhaps he’s a cousin to that watersnake who curled up next to my body on warm bedrock. The same one that slithered after me through the rushing waters … Read moreArmistice by Nicholas Barnes

star(dust) by Paridhi Poddar

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa they say that the stars are not ours to name                            because the Big Dipper was a wild bear hunting in milky rivers                       that there was an oxen, or maybe a coyote who shot an arrow trail             to the heavens, paving a starry path and left its friends behind in the … Read morestar(dust) by Paridhi Poddar

Water Feet by Paridhi Poddar

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa I have got two feet,  flat like that of my father, not at all ladylike.  Aquarius feet, they dangle by the edge of the lake.  It is sacred feet on some days,  worshiped during puja,  they wash my feet with cold water,  clean my toes, bend and touch my feet, … Read moreWater Feet by Paridhi Poddar

An Ode to Natural Migration by Louise Kim

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa Moved around from place to place I’m assuming I’m not welcome Not here nor there nor anywhere Tears springing from my eyes like youthful tulips in the early spring Maybe even flowers spring with pain, growing pains Happen to everyone, I’ve noticed. Wells form, I’ve discovered two Naturally saltwater wells … Read moreAn Ode to Natural Migration by Louise Kim

Pounded Yams and Ground Bones by Adamu Yahuza Abdullah

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa Here, skin is not the only outer covering, there is grief too, an inextinguishable fire. Whenever my sister left for the stream, Mum would return to the skins of her ancestors and swallow all the testament of dust.  She would pierce her throat with all the prayers that couldn’t breathe … Read morePounded Yams and Ground Bones by Adamu Yahuza Abdullah

Kemanji by Adamu Yahuza Abdullah

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa There are sojourners who never made it home.  Bodies strapped with marks,  voices wrapped in silence. I reminisce about a man growing fresh in his wound. Outside a house—a tree perches. Creaking the house  and every breathe. Today, it is a head.  Next, heads.  The wind blows and washes my … Read moreKemanji by Adamu Yahuza Abdullah

Marsha P. Johnson Visits Me as I Dream by Pam R. Johnson Davis

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa a golden shovel poem after Terrence Hayes She reaches for her sparkly gloves and lays them out on her bed, declaring, “I  don’t know what I am if I’m not a woman.” She muses, “You see a bed is not a luxury we’re all afforded. So I dress up even … Read moreMarsha P. Johnson Visits Me as I Dream by Pam R. Johnson Davis

Now that I’m 25 by Selvi Bunce

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa I grieve for my younger self Where did she go? Bommai craved the days when she could build forts only to sit in them by herself; who made three dimensional peacocks after school – construction paper and brass fasteners. Chellam who read Junie B. Jones for hours on end; who … Read moreNow that I’m 25 by Selvi Bunce

The Great Conjunction by Sean Wang

Illustration by Mimi Mutesa @mimimutesa Two celestial bodies would meet— Saturn and Jupiter. Two globes of gas in orbit, each a storm in its own. An unfathomable rush of dust, an illusory presence. So much emptiness between those whirls I could swallow you whole. Two skulls kiss in the darkness. A clatter of teeth like … Read moreThe Great Conjunction by Sean Wang

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