America

Shontay Luna

She is a bitch,
who is done a lot
of heinous shit.
But I love her,
because she is
home.

To be black and have
any feelings about
America involves
coming to terms with
many things.
All of which she will
never admit to.

And then I tell her
“Just because you
do not remember,
doesn’t mean that it
didn’t happen.”
She replies by pouting
her lip and standing
haughtily in defiance.
Not saying anything.
She never says anything.
to do so would be an
admission of acknowledgement.
So, she’s not about to let that
happen. She is smarter than
she looks. And sneakier than
anyone gives her credit
for.

So, we stare at each other,
walking backwards to
our respective corners.
Never averting our eyes.

Revolt

Connie Patton

This is no crown of glory

Chemical assimilation
Has left me folicily frustrated

Coaxed and cajoled for too long
Coarse hair, cooked straight
Has revolted and lept from my scalp
In suicidal protest

Chain

Friday Faraday

I am what I am. Black and Non-binary. An upset to the world’s unyielding narcissism. Fear me, hate me, stop me from breathing. Dunk me in bleach to strip my color away. Do whatever you can to get rid of me.

That’s the agreement under your table.

All to live in pleasant ignorance of years that were only kind to one shade and gender. Yeah, let’s live in that American Dream. Let’s make that great again. Forget my pleas to be loved, my silent whimpers as society’s coffin seals me shut. Bury me next to your shame, fit me into the countless rows of black queer bodies.

Seal the rift before eyes draw near…

Oops, too bad they already blinked and shuffled on with their flag flapping in the wind. Thoughts and Prayers—TBA.

Shontay Luna is a lifelong Chicagoan and is the author of two chapbooks and work published in The Literary Nest and The Daily Drunk, among others.

Connie Owens Patton graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a degree in English. She has previously been published in African Voices and Writing for Our Lives. Currently, Connie resides in California where she is working on a chapbook of poetry entitled “Through a Tightly Coiled Lens.”

Friday Faraday is a native of Chicago, IL, and earned an MFA in English from Southern New Hampshire University. Friday has been published in such publications as The Paragon Journal and Literary Orphans. A little know fact about the author is that they own a five-foot-tall Darth Vader.

Artwork by Daisy Daniel’s, Janelle Edstrom, and Jasmine Ni, former Literary Illustrator Interns

Issue 1

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