four poems

by Keagan Wheat “I had been thinking about my fading memory of dinosaurs, my fading desire to prove a boyhood by standards I disregard.”

Ashes In My Mouth

by Jazzib Akhtar “There’s a harshness to the blue mist I’m smoking. It’s a familiar sting that lingers like unhealed scars.”


by Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman “His wrists are cuffed against the bars of this prison beyond prisons As if a man with brown skin cannot travel without implications of terror”


by Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman “You watched men dig holes deep into the earth Until their straw hats disappeared into the black Dumping bodies of sugar mill workers into these mass graves”

A Smile without a Shield

by Jazzib Akhtar “There’s something about experiencing racism in real time, it often comes at times when you don’t expect it. What is it about 12 weaponizing everything?”


By 3 Black Women Rice Students “until that original system of oppression upon which the police force is built is completely dismantled, it’s fuck 12”


by Jazzib Akhtar “Defeated an empire only to return to a different empire.”

Black Hair Ghazal

by Aris Kian “knots, cornrows, two-strand flat twists and drips between my legs, i’m taught to keep my girlhood”

Brown Protagonist

by Aris Kian “I am penned as dust and dawn, as sunlight and pink horizon, mixing cement”

Circus Act

by Aris Kian “Black girl be the best assistant / with how she falls / victim to a show / she never asked to be inspotlight spotlight”

Code Switch

by Aris Kian “furling, sucking air into his chest, & I thought, ‘that! that is the language I want for myself.’”