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it sweats black dust into the cuffs
of its pressed white oxford. buttery
as peppered grits, it grins, places a platter
of appetizers before you, and folds
down its brown tray, asking—wrong:
this / it / world where it is allowed
speech, the offensive stench of its wince
under your sizzling tilapia. you
provoke its familiar atavistic plea:
and where is your water, etc. let it
run the cooling pile back. let it
get its manager, hurry to defer harried.
[we don’t even want to see you anymore.]
you fork the still-steaming fillet.
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“The rising voices wanted to twist arms. The violence of their speech spread across her shoulders, inched down her backside.” A young woman struggles to have an abortion.
“Room, Room, Room, in the many Mansions of Eternal Glory for Thee and for Everyone” & “Publick Universal Friend Adopts a More Androgynous Appearance . . .”
Congratulations to Adebe DeRango-Adem & Simone Person!