Sleeping Giant State Park
By Emily Hsee

We must’ve been past
the shoulders—steep, still—
before I lost track of how many times
you said I wouldn’t fall
all 738 feet: rough, weathered, nothing
like what I’m used to.

So many frantic pulses now forgotten
in that hushed start
of dusk, sometime that May.
I remember the gentle earth of your skin in the sun;
how for hours we scraped—me directionless, you
the top edge of Connecticut.

I think I held my breath the whole three hours
you spent trying to teach me
how to watch the sky.
Then when you and I, hands not touching,
were steady on the Giant’s chest,
you watched me watch an eagle.

I wondered how many other lovers watched him
before us.

Predominately White
By Ashia Ajani

Give me soft roars and crackling chiles
The sound of bicycle bells and running children
Give me English cased in sweet lisps and slanted vowels
The blunt scent of rotting vegetables and coconut grease

My hips are too wide for these narrowed streets
Campus surrounding city
Like fat mice, eating each other whole

A professor once told me education is a right
I think wrong, bloodstains bake into brick
A pastel society makes pastel ideologies

Can I tend to ostracism
With an undying love for my people?
If I am just my environment
I owe it to myself to cut the weeds every now and then