Storage Bin

To live between borders

Oscillating needle prick

   Constant shuttle to

Back       Forward       Center

the      bridge      seems      long




Grief hides under left armpit

Fear likes the sock drawer

“hang joy here”

We are unwhole

S   e   p   a   r   a   t   e

absorbing every speck and grit

yet none

We belong to every/thing

and no/thing at once

We rely on this

for an opening

Melissa Eleftherion was born & raised in Brooklyn. A high school dropout, she went on to earn an MFA in Poetry from Mills College and an MLIS from San Jose State University. She is the author of huminsect, prism maps, Pigtail Duty, the leaves the leaves, green glass asterisms, and several other chapbooks. Her first full-length collection, field guide to autobiography, is forthcoming from H_NGM_N. Founder of the Poetry Center Chapbook Exchange, Melissa lives in Mendocino County where she works as a Teen Librarian, teaches creative writing, & curates the LOBA Reading Series at the Ukiah Library. More of her work can be found @

On discovering Afrofuturism

The future of me is blurry.
I risk everything
in becoming
my real self, bloody
veins and tissue pumping
out of me like lava.

I slept, curled up,
waiting for Mother
        to hold me,
sew me back together.
She used to hold us all,
in ancient and sacred spaces
She told us: baby,
you are infinitely worthy.

But now the skin under my skin
ripples, disturbing
the green grass I planted,
my well-kept lawn
not all at once, but slowly.

The born self is gone,
turned to fragile rock.
A new age, a new dawn,
the future now,
is coming.

Renee Christopher earned her B.A. in English and Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara which she uses to sell pizza in her hometown. She can generally be found petting strangers’ dogs. You can find her tweeting about representation, entertainment, and working in customer service @jademoonsun on Twitter.



                    when you leave your house this morning,
Remember two words:       Thank You.

Say “thank you” to the man outside of the bodega
who says “good morning” to all the pretty girls.

Say “thank you” to the guy that eloquently
acknowledges your well sculpted ass with a “Dammmn Gurl”
             (why else would you dress like that?)

Say “thank you” to the guy at the bar that leans over his friend
and whispers, loud enough for you to hear, all the ways he’d like to
bend your body.

Say “thank you” to the family friend who told you at seven
that      kisses made breasts grow bigger.

Say thank you to the countless men who have grabbed you
on the subway                            in night clubs
at bus stops
(our bodies have never been our own).

Say THANK YOU                       THANK YOU                       THANK YOU

Say “thank you” because silence is subversion,              ‘conceited bitch.’

Natalie N. Caro is a Bronx-born poet and the 2013 recipient of the Bronx Recognizes Its Own Award in Poetry. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from Lehman College/CUNY and an MFA in Poetry from City College/CUNY where she selected as one of the first recipients of the Creative Writing Fellowship. Sometimes, she swears that school saved her, but then she thinks about colonization of the mind and feels some type of way. Natalie likes to tweet at bars about teeth and trauma. Follow her and her scattered thoughts on twitter @scatteredstanza.

1200 Generations

1200 generations a slave

40 days and 40 nights

   fighting tides




   is an island

sustaining life

with limitations

like stuck on occupied lands

nuclear godheads and land grabs

she sees way past

   the glass ceiling

way past

the wall street walls

   and histories of slavery

right on

dirty new york streets

she climbs and climbs

the corporate ladder

can lead right up

   to the floors of world trade

   controlled demolitions

buildings with codes

she can be lost

in the stairwells

of concrete remote control

   bombs and drones drive her nuts

she keeps on though


carrying the tradition

mother ma life giver,

the planter,

master maker

the light

   the creator.

ava bird is an american based poet, writer, editor, reviewer, producer, magical elixir maker and more! Her poetic and other works are printed in historical anthologies, academic journals, spiritual publications, online, recorded for radio and exhibited in galleries. She has published two books of poetry and prose ‘the new now’ and ‘rage against the war machine’ and is an organizer for the worldwide poetry movement 100thousand poets for change. You may also see her artwork somewhere! Connect @ facebook: avabirdpoetic