It’s Always About a Dollar (Euro) by Francisco Orozco

Having an American passport is like having your heart ripped out while being unable to go to the doctor. My Mexican hands are still brown in Europe. I just did Portugal, Italy, Hungary and now Greece in three months. Hopefully they won’t take my heart and soul by this age of thirty. I tell SFSU Professor Alejandro Murguía to drive me to downtown San Francisco. … Continue reading It’s Always About a Dollar (Euro) by Francisco Orozco

Shelf 15 by Rufo Quintavalle

The pure contralto sings in the organ loftTo the pilgrims and agnostics queuing upTo touch the sacred rock with the powerThey say, to heal ailments: grippe; autism;The body flux; mumps; shingles; sterility;Tennis elbow; wrist, shoulder or Achilles Tendinitis; lazy eye; leprosy; atrial flutter;Tachycardia; pentosuria; benign essentialTremor; renal calculi; Mad Cow Disease;Tourette and Townes-Brocks syndrome;Hyperglycemia; gangrene and cherubism.The prayer or the hope of all is the … Continue reading Shelf 15 by Rufo Quintavalle

Death Is A Soldier by Ron Kolm

What he really isIs a middle-aged guyWearing camo,Who reads a lot of booksOn military history and dreamsWhat the World would be likeIf Hitler had won the war.He sits in a neighborhood bar,Hunched over a White Russian,Watching TV.Every time he looksAt the screenSomething happens:Tornadoes slap Tennessee,Coronavirus erupts in China,Trump opens his mouth.He nods sagelyAnd sips his drinkAs these disasters occurIn real time.Even as he staresAt his … Continue reading Death Is A Soldier by Ron Kolm

Ode to a Shrinking Head by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

Let me not to the marriage of true mindsAdmit impediments…      — William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 116” The unconscious lays its cardswith impediment from you;impetus of id, its sole objective;and, when it deals, does, no doubt,off the bottom of the deck. The bottom of the sea is where we’re bound;ship sinking meanwhile, run aground …Captain! O Captain! you mutter, guzzling salt straight out of the packet ―who replies … Continue reading Ode to a Shrinking Head by John Jack Jackie (Edward) Cooper

How It Spreads by Tiffany Lee Brown

A prayer nowfor the babyfucked to deathnear Coos Bay. A prayer for the guy who did it.Three for the cops who accidentally beat him on his way to the car. Three more, now, one for thegirlfriend, two for the wives,who held the big men in theirarms when they cried. Four prayers for the EMTs wholifted the small body withshaking hands. One each fortheir two hearts, two to slide in their … Continue reading How It Spreads by Tiffany Lee Brown

On the Tail End of a Winter’s Night by Dionne Luna Tenhue

On the tail end of a winter’s night,my soul met yoursDanced a duetneither of us knew the steps toYet we swayed in tuneDC streetlightturned spotlight for our solosas we swapped stories aboutthe stars from which we cameAnd the scars hidden from plain sightHow bright a beaconour attentivenessHow comfort of homeour careNow entrustedto protect every timelinethat led us hereWe felt stronger having sharedour weaknessesHeld tightly the … Continue reading On the Tail End of a Winter’s Night by Dionne Luna Tenhue

In Plain Sight by Ralph Watkins

In plain sight, laying back in the cut,camouflaged into my surroundings andblending in real nice–I see things all the time, withoutother people knowingI’m there or watching– I saw who robbed who,when they weren’t home,I saw who was cheating onwho, when they thoughtthey were alone– Tell you the truth.I need help, trying not to close my eyes or look the other way.But trust, I will tell … Continue reading In Plain Sight by Ralph Watkins

Romantic Dinner by Chris Burke

I cleaned your cat’s puke again today,the beige chunks fused into our matwhile she gobbled down the rest. Remember when that made me  retch? To eat one’s molten sick.The way her body pumped it outlike the devil’s song, all heave and ho from gut to throat to floor. One time, my shoe. A fur machinefor summoning Beelzebub. Better out than in? “Better in than out.” For you, it was … Continue reading Romantic Dinner by Chris Burke