by David Petruzelli
I wasn’t sure why my grandfather,
a magician who was once on Ed Sullivan,
and still performed at VFWs throughout New Jersey,
would have wanted to appear on the same bill
with singing doormen or a four-year-old girl
who tap danced to a recording of “Creole Love Call.”
by Marilyn Nelson
Strutting around here acting humble,
when everybody knows
he’s the only one here got his degree
from a white man’s college, . . .
by Reginald Shepherd
I think of you when I am dead, the way rocks
think of earthworms and oak roots, tendrils
that break them down to loam and nutrients,
something growing out of every
disappearance. . . .
by Erin McGraw
The subject veers almost uncontrollably toward metaphor, but I mean to take it literally: I have unusually poor vision, minus thirteen hundred diopters and still losing ground, ordinary progressive myopia that never stopped progressing. In me, the process by which light is supposed to focus images at the back of the eye has gone berserk, and the point of focus shifts ever closer to the front, like the projection of a movie falling short of its screen.
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