By Miranda Featherstone, Illustrations by Nazila Jamalifard
In July 2021, five weeks after my mother died, my husband dropped me off at the emergency room of the small hospital in the Massachusetts town where my father now lived alone.
By Leah Naomi Green
My daughter learns I’m there / even when I am not. I name this trust
that color is not color. The red flower, / she tells me, absorbs all light / but red, so reflects red / where she and I can see it.
By Anum Asi, Illustrations by Joey Yu
Nadia knows, when the mother leaves them, that they will die. They lurch from side to side, low on the ground, ears folded over into crinkled triangles. Claws soft, mouths brown with dirt, meowing in the damp soil of the flower bed.
By Sally Wen Mao
Some days, I sail on an empty boat to a country I don’t know. / With my navy-blue passport, I can go anywhere.
By Jason Schneiderman
After the death of the dictator, his son wanted him embalmed. His son wanted him on perpetual display in a glass box.
By Erin Kate Ryan, Illustrations by Dani Choi
The girl was on fire already when she walked into the town square and still she burned for nine more days.
By Ama Codjoe
Three nudes crudely drawn. One crouching,
back turned, right hand feeding the turtle
of the painting’s title; another sitting, as if in a chair,
head bowed, eyes downcast; and a central
Koreatown, Los Angeles
Gwendolyn Brooks stood stark naked.I stared into her bespectacled eyes.
Ms. Brooks showed me how to tend to myself by scrubbing dead skin
By Jane Wong
How long I’ve dreamt of you, teenaged and long-legged, lying on our porch, your mud-speckled sandals kicked off to the side, watching a tree slowly split