A chronological archive of poetry published in Cleaver’s quarterly literary issues from 2013 to present …

THE ANT LIEUTENANT TELLS ME OF HIS RETURN by David Callan
THE ANT LIEUTENANT TELLS ME OF HIS RETURN by David Callan Black soil collapsing onto rock. Beetles with shining blue ...
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CORPORATE CLIFF by Lauren Bender
Fist above foothold, stay invisible; don't open your mouth and waste words on statues that may or may not love ...
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Black and white image of a broken eggshell
THE DAMAGE IS THE TRUTH by Roy White Ice on the stairs, brief flight, pain and an impossible angle. A ...
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THE ORDINARY IS WORTH INVESTIGATION by Catherine Chen
How the body performs a blockade: I’m not here. Everyone wants to prove they can fight a tank. The Japanese ...
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Two Poems by Will Stanier
The stage curtain of my dreams needs an alteration. Ka-Pow! Ambient billiard balls. “It’s always broccoli with you.” And it ...
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Man's arm upraised against a dark background
* You no longer bathe though a cold rain flows through one arm ...
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FRESCO by Joan Larkin
want to be that featureless dove tucked in the saint's armpit. I want to nest where his hand presses me ...
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CHAPTER ONE: METHODS OF THE INNOCENT by Phoebe Reeves
Temporal weariness bought many women their milk,on condition that they would promise onlya small thing, some silent iniquity. They shuttheir ...
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GAMELAN by Allison Hummel
Otto, Otto everywhere. That was how I felt for a while, biting into wax fruit, crafting crusades in miniature, many ...
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ZOË by Brigit Andersson
Born with multiple spinal malformations. Missing ribs on the left side—only flesh to guard the collapsed lung. One right lung ...
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INSTEAD by Glenn Ingersoll
Instead of violence Instead of the trees Instead of the brier Instead of regulation Instead of music Instead of jail ...
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heat wave by mud howard
the future is not Las Vegas yet here we are dying and newly alive glittering thunder dome of sweat ...
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TWO POEMS by Barbara Daniels
Tall A woman grows taller and taller till she looms above her friends, brushes her head on door frames, grows ...
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LINES ON THE WAY TO A MARCH by Dan Kraines
My sight breaks up; orange rivulets drop down my eye; against my chest, a pain thwacks and clocks. I am ...
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THE TOWER IN OUR CITY by Peter Leight
THE TOWER IN OUR CITY is always visible, no matter where we are, it doesn’t even matter what we’re looking ...
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CYANOTYPE by Michelle Matthees
No one bothered to tip me back into my own image. Now, I’ve got one eye seeing forever thru an ...
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WITH EACH PASSING DAY, THE MORE by D.R. Shipp
I realize I do not wish to fall to the bottom of a well. With no one to hear my ...
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THE GRAVE YOUR AMBITION DIGS FOR ITSELF by Gabriel Welsch
The ridiculous dissatisfaction with good fortune begins in shade, when every bit of luck pops up like a harlequin jammed ...
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PAX ROMANA by Christopher Blackman
For a time I felt harmonious and whole, if you know what I mean. Ringing bells alone could make a ...
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LIBERTY/LIBERTY by Leia Darwish
you can’t hold your man                  you can’t hit a jet going six hundred miles per hour with a .50 calibre ...
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STONEHENGE by Erik Fuhrer
The apocalypse goes to Stonehenge during the summer solstice and sings Joni Mitchell’s Blue while tripping on shrooms The apocalypse ...
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the juvenile connection by Kathleen Hellen
perched on spindles of the branching spring the wren with conspicuous brow, the buff sparrow with its white appetite, ravishing ...
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THREE POEMS by James Grinwis
This was his third story, the one after the one about dinosaurs turning to glue and the ship trapped in ...
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TERMS AND CONDITIONS by Heather Holmes
TERMS AND CONDITIONS by Heather Holmes one month I am in philadelphia reading the Andrew Durbin book that describes this ...
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PLURISY by Joseph Harms
Light Years: plurisy, renewed nostalgia for each moment as it goes, the dream returning as it’s escaping. / His wife’s ...
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Vintage television on a small wooden table in front of a brown plaid wall, with the title of the piece in faded grey font
THE REST by Kimberly Grabowski Strayer I slept with a kitchen knife in my bedside table as a little girl, I ...
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CARTE BLANCHE by Maya Owen
Whilst I was human I walked around with glitter in my eye I wrote it down I believed in magic ...
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Person inside a wet shower stall with drops of water on the glass, drawing a heart in the condensation with their hand, with the title of the piece in the foreground
In the sour aurora borealis of our political reveries every bruise dives together in a drink of lead paint pouring ...
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REMEDY by Jen Rouse
Once there was a clementine when I couldn’t speak and a late afternoon on the steps in the sun when ...
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THREE POEMS by Darren C. Demaree
Those that whispered stay in the corners unadorned, protecting their corners, pissing in their corners, un- willing to dance or ...
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AUTOMATON AUBADE  by Cynthia Atkins
Once I was so lonely, I spent all night talking to an android, her pursed lips whispering thick as a ...
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VIDEO  ALTARPIECE (3) by Judson Evans
Twelve hours under the flood the putrid silt sacked every staging and support, the poplar plank with its larch cross-sections, ...
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QUESTIONS OF CURRENT ATMOSPHERE  by Caroline J. Davidson
Then it’s three years since—since displacement then it’s flesh on foil and planks spilling out oilcloth remnants—then we are formless, ...
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PERPETUAL WONDERMENT by Alexis Petri
Holy men pitched tents on my grandmother’s farm land. They trickled into 1975 fed by an ancient spring, while everyone ...
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GIANT POSSUM DRAWS CROWD IN NICETOWN by Khaleel Gheba
GIANT POSSUM DRAWS CROWD IN NICETOWN by Khaleel Gheba From the west, a swell arrives with pomp, its wet regalia ...
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THE FEMMINIELLO by Joey Belonger
His smile is a Spanish quarter, lopsides us down Campania street inclines, dodging grime bullets. Cerussite silk plunges down to ...
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NOVEMBER, THE REALIST by James McKee
Scrapped leaves, the orange the gold the crimson, scratch along, clump, stop. Crumble. Rot., Blow off where it all blows ...
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variation 32 by Doug Bolling
They did not believe us at the station. The voices weighing us as we stood naked in the south wind, ...
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where we come from by Patricia Hartland
where we come from by Patricia Hartland tiny springs meet the red red sand the sea we built our little ...
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PENIS ENVY by Susan Celia Greenfield
“Daddy, can I watch you make?” I was following my father down our long hallway to the bathroom, pulling the ...
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ANATOMY OF A MONARCA by Antonio Lopez
ANATOMY OF A MONARCA by Antonio Lopez Emerging from the quilted cocoon of the brown monarcas is an infant who ...
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CHORUS by Mary Lou Buschi
Bloody Mary was neither skull nor naked bone. .............Sister of blood and flesh they said your name 3 times, .............walked ...
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[A  BLOCKED  VALVE  FACILITATES  PRAYER.  A  BLOCKED  AIRWAY  INSPIRES  A] by Levi Andalou
A blocked valve facilitates prayer. A blocked airway inspires a sudden reinvestment in the communicative powers of miming. A blocked ...
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THOSE STRIKING SHADES I :: THE MAGICIAN. by Cait Weiss Orcutt
those various yellows, golden-rods, butter-fat, chrysanthemum wax-wings ..sprung from thin etchings of faith, is it just random— ....the rabbit/sleeve disguised: ...
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THE HIGH ROAD TO TIFFIN by Jake Montgomery
moves in gravelly time, so that the words I say here have been said before, and my car is covered ...
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THE SECOND MOTION by Elaine Cannell
In the first motion, I wrapped everything in newspaper, emptied glass stones from the bottoms of fishbowls, recycled the recyclables, ...
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TO EACH HER OWN by Natalie Kawam
The world, I never thought, was worth its wake In my image alone, kicking storms about itself Like me, a ...
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LATE NIGHT THOUGHTS by Jonathan Louis Duckworth
In the silver heart of everything there is a constant quivering. We think the sky is boneless only because it ...
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EXECUTION by Hussain Ahmed
There is a ceremonial volley over a grave I climb on the branch of an olive tree to peep at ...
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[IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BANJO –THIS CHAIR] by Simon Perchik
It has nothing to do with the banjo –this chair aches for wheels that will rust, wobble the way riverbeds ...
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THE RELIC ROOM by William Wells
A Civil War cannonball dug from a field near Petersburg now props open the door. He shows me in. The ...
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THE DAY AFTER BRAHMA OPENED ONE EYE by Nicole Burney
We knew without speaking your left eye open just a crack caught between moans and a gasp. I toss in ...
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SUNSPOTS by Julia Leverone
The hair the doctors cut to clear from underneath the stitches, long and light, marbled my black shirt. As with ...
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PATCHES from Variable Cycles by Robert Lietz
What would a God expect, anticipate. And what, besides endurance or equation, what, besides sentence, metaphor, should God, wearing a ...
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TRAIN FOR GLORY by Roy Bentley
After the Washing of the Feet, an old woman gets up. She reaches into a basket. Takes out a couple ...
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THE CHILDREN by John Sibley Williams
THE CHILDREN by John Sibley Williams Back when play carried less grief, our darkness ruined only a half-acre or so ...
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MORALITY PLAY by Nandini Dhar
Propriety A weapon—an assemblage that knifes through this lattice of unspoken tales; this assurance that no one would force open ...
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SUDDENLY by Mary Crow
at park's edge a storm appeared returning from its tour of Vienna, and the car sped away in dust devils, ...
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WHAT MATTERS IS OUR HANDS by Olivia Hu
WHAT MATTERS IS OUR HANDS after Charlottesville: anti-racism protesters by Olivia Hu It's not that your mother was afraid herself, ...
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gravy strain  by Davy Knittle
thin a little ice for me but keep the slip melt slouches melt-ward and it's regular bad is it time ...
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THE MORNING AFTER ANOTHER COMING-OF-AGE FILM by Daryl Sznyter
THE MORNING AFTER ANOTHER COMING-OF-AGE FILM by Daryl Sznyter I dream of a man cutting into my stomach and you're ...
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UNDERSONG by Martha Zweig
UNDERSONG by Martha Zweig Dawn: eight neighborhood bullies congregate spoiling to tweak a perfect day. They stalk tinfoil glints in ...
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COLONIZING THE WORLD by Cliff Saunders
COLONIZING THE WORLD by Cliff Saunders i. The walking stick: an unlikely mast a bit long-in-the-tooth. ii. Good news: red ...
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1968 by Matt Muth
For three nights we watched Vietnam documentaries, mom slipping into the TV, the TV blooming the blossom of '68 back ...
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TWO POEMS by Lee Sennish
Cars backed up to where the geraniums manned the empty lifeboats in the square, we went to see the grounded ...
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MIXED MEDIUM ART by Stuti Pachisia
MIXED MEDIUM ART by Stuti Pachisia Scenery 1: The sky is a permanent state of dawn, or dusk, if you ...
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CAMPAIGN PROMISES, a poem by by Ann Babson, featured on Life As Activism
Curtains checked for anthrax, podium erected. The balloons will fall to the floor if elected. The ass-groper, interloper, and false ...
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FOUR POEMS by Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, featured on Life As Activism
He doesn't notice the desert. The smell of the dead rising, birds or fish, saltwater feeding on air or salt ...
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PERFUSIONIST  by Kelsey Ann Kerr
I wear my love for foxgloves on my digits, nibble on each to slow the fibrillations ...
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NAMING NAMES by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
Daddy’s Pet fucking chrissakes Slewfoot conglomerates banging eachother Brock Road puddle son of a bitch Mongrel Palmer light the east ...
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White balloon floating against a bright blue sky
In the ground, the real never of a boy How a couple recovers I do not know Whose heart Agony ...
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KEVLAR ON OUR BACKS by Matthew Schmidt
We gave ourselves matching haircuts but only temple rye cures. Temper your dog but only scaremongering ignites crows. Shared the ...
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Clown wearing full makeup, a curly wig, and peace sign glasses playing a dusty violin
Sunlight sealed behind cirrus behemoths, I am deep in left field. Suited up in stripes, I wait for something to ...
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TWO POEMS by Brendan Lorber
On the eve .....of never forgetting.....I still want to run away.....from you together..... or not run..... but bite or register ...
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SEOUL IN OCTOBER by Soleil David
If I could be anywhere in the Fall it would be Korea walking rubberized pavement to the top of Namsan ...
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RESISTORS by Amy Miller
He taught me how to bend their arms so they stayed. To solder them solid with lead and resin, perfect ...
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THE RATION OF INDEPENDENCE by Michael T. Young
When coarse human events become necessary, people dissolve, a gloom powers profit, the claws of paper and paper’s God hold ...
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STEREOCARDS: Doubles by Kyra Simone
Some still see the shadow of the earth’s other moon, a ghost satellite over a ghost tide before one light ...
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VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL by Michelle Brooks
Before the puppet show, Melissa and I split a stolen Valium. As the children gathered, a dreamy feeling descended on ...
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TWO POEMS by C. John Graham
Geometrically speaking, lines are illusion because lines have no width. Yet we know the end from the beginning. Velocity differs ...
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BEASTLY by Erin Slaughter
Call to me at the bottom of the stairs and wrap me in your breathless summering. Confession: my lips are ...
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TOUCAN by Mag Gabbert
My favorite thing About Keats Is his belief that I might Leave the world unseen I once left An imaginary ...
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STILL LIFE WITH GIN, FALCON, SECRET by Ed Taylor
On the terrace, huddled against sun, the ticking air and hissing in the grass— at the palazzo belfry suddenly a ...
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ABOUT NOW by Bruce McRae
Meanwhile, in the airy labyrinth, in a bathtub full of corn liquor, in the red barn on a hillside. While ...
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[THE COYOTES ARE JUDGING ME] by Nina Murray
The coyotes are judging me. The coyotes are excellent judges of character attuned to minute oscillations of will opportunistic in ...
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TWO POEMS by Jaimie Gusman
so it begins [spring] leopards from a crowd of moss hills bloom I don’t live there; I built my ship ...
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MONDAY MORNING by Babo Kamel
The palm trees outside the window are waiting to wed. But the officiate is late. They stare at each other, ...
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ALL THE DOORS ARE HUMMING by Lucy Anderton
a simple star-crack unwinding in ropes of flat out shaking silver. The white bird is not raveled in thought when ...
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A BLACK OPUS by Penney Knightly
I could be a constellation, I have a cryptic, enticing tale it has lions and swords and those things, blood ...
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BrOkEn GhAzAl fOr AfRiKa by Bola Opaleke
in Afrika there is a way you beg forgiveness for future sins today in a broken language the same way ...
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COUNTRY FUNERAL by D. G. Geis
I never knew you were Baptist. Nor, I suspect, did you. Perhaps it was the funeral director or your most ...
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MY CHILDREN BUILD “EVERYBODY’S DREAM LAND” (“Anybody Would Like to Live Here”) by Maya Jewell Zeller
Begin by skinning an animal. This plastic woman has, like, 200 acres, and she has so many couches, and she ...
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PUGET’S CHILDREN by Jenny Montgomery
It is a relief to pass beyond the flesh and become instead a column of information. Puerile, we watch pulp ...
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THE SUBMERGED MIND (Report by Turkish Naval Intelligence: Primitive Twentieth Century Code) by Michael Dennison
Category is a submarine, Soviet, riveted together in pointless hurry by convict labor, Lesser Class, something for Black Sea, obsolete ...
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BULLY NOTES by Jack Israel
when he beat me up he had me against a row-house screen door, blows like birds flying at my ears ...
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REMAINS by Callista Buchen
Bury me under feathers. My mother wanted me to be an actress, a singer. I paint in wings, in white, ...
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AFTER by Alexandra Smyth
Sunlight through kitchen window, porridge swirled with raspberry jam. Mouths clotted red, a bluebird sings: on this morning, how can ...
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THE PIETA, a poem by Samuel Son, Featured on Life As Activism 
charred, acrid smell of gunpowder smokes from the holes in Philando’s body, which carries the stigma(ta) of all things dark, ...
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YOUNG WARRIOR ON HORSEBACK, a poem by Kaitlin LaMoine Martin, featured on Life As Activism
His back toward us, he faces history and history is armed with AR 47s, water cannons, grenades, Andrew Jackson, and ...
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