Poetry

drop some amens

The Holy Barons rumble through the untended slum-gardens against the highway and drop payloads. If the halo-copters hear you scream from downstairs, you get one from on high, and it makes a whistle on the way down and falls against your prayers— it goes through one girl’s bedroom ceiling and suddenly her college first-pick knows […]

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1532

it starts with their garden: it’s a square where sunflowers and cilantro dominate most of the landscape, but the yellow isn’t our yellow and the smell of herbs isn’t the scent of ceviche; red roses and white lilies border balconies, bees busy with mechanical wings; they sit on petals, florae skin that doesn’t bend with […]

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Shadow-Song

Brecht, singing in the dark times while our greater Mahagonny floods and burns, you made Blitzstein a better muse than me, tired of invisible walls and strings pulled in plain sight and expecting no mounted messengers, even ironic ones. Let me talk to Hauptmann who knew the differences between owning a play and robbing one, […]

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The Early Ones

Like all monsters, we don’t belong, but our problem is time and not space. We got here too early. We have always had this sense of wrongful, unseemly arrival. We arrived before community, before there was language to describe us, before the “Other” box on the census, before the war. We are the hiss in […]

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The Cat’s Daughters

Prologue We grew inside our mother. She whispered to us, “You are mine, mine.” Not knowing better, we agreed. Beside her skin’s luminous husk, we were foam-feelings, limbs creased like clouds, permeable blobs. We stayed on hold slowly expanding, surging slippery like similes. (i) We imagined our mother’s unhurried beauty: dark and large with a […]

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Apathetic Goblin Nightmare Woman

“I guess,” you said. “You could stand to be sleeker,” stand taller, be smaller, like the bamboo behind your two-dollar Bodhisattva, your Buddha from the neighbourhood thrift store. Wear skirts that soften the rhetoric of your politics, your culture-conscious, myth-haunted, faerie hysterics, your imminent immigrant histrionics, “I know,” you said. “That you’re not my manic pixie dream […]

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Keening

She wakes with no memory of pain, only the taste of steel and three drops of blood on white bed sheets. In the distance, the whistle of the afilador, the man who sharpens knives. He appears at dawn or dusk, or when called. Her abuela, slicing onions, told her, “Put a trapo on your head […]

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The Designs of Designer Baby

I. She came from the cold laser bath, a polished thing trimmed by tiny scissors. Held by sterile gloves, she grew up thinking herself a rare Picasso, her eyes dark flowers, her mind a meteor shower. In elementary school, she saw the future, built marvels using gauze, bullets, and Krazy glue, items made for wartime […]

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