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A Witch, Trying. after Jennifer Givhan

a poem by Angelina Valdez


And what were the bruises
purpling my arms?
Memories, from the last time or
stories from the first?
Is it okay,
being okay
again, after you?
I was never a murdered
woman but a witch, trying to
make myself whole
after you. Left is
nothing but I,
no wedding,
ever, no demon
father to link elbows, to
stroll between pews
anyways. Just I
now, holding my own.

from the Genre: Urban Arts No 3

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Paradox

a poem by Umar Siddiqui


She tossed pebbles
Into her reflection
On the lake
So the ripples
Reflect how she sees herself

He sits

Playing rock, paper, scissors
With his shadow
As if each time will
Lead to a different outcome
In her mirrorless house
Pictures of her sat face down
On each shelf
He wanted to make the world
Think he was loved
So he carved two names into a tree
He kept the calendar on the same date

From ten years ago
As if it’ll keep time stuck in place

Umar Siddiqui

published in Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

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Unworthy

A poem by Ricardo Hanley Jr.

She intently scrolled through my phone and deemed every woman a hoe.

I stood silent, knowing exactly how this would go.

I’m not one to pretend nor make an attempt to defend against her imagination,

of which I know, I can never contend.

But, again the insults flew at me, a swarm of stinging bees

but I was immune for  a time. Her wild rage grew, as I watched,

she became a slave to her own mind.

The curses and accusations meeting my silence.

Like gasoline poured onto flames violent, a blind fury burning in her brown eyes, now shining crimson and violet.

I did my best to drown her out, with unspoken thoughts, until again,

I was hit in my mouth.

I closed my eyes, seeking the best route I could find, in the stillness of my building anger,

Mama’s voice went ringing through my mind, “Never place your hands on a woman,”

a lesson revealing one side.

I continued searching my depths for the lesson which I could justly apply.

Papa’s voice rang out mentally, “walk away, walk it off,” adhering his potent passive words,

and knowing one wrong move whether justly or unjustly deserved, in a moment all could be lost,

should I cast the second stone, I’ll be nailed to the cross. I disappeared like Christ into the darkness of the night,

with my integrity in tact and problematic phone as my guiding light.

Ricardo Hanley, Jr.

Published in Genre: Urban Arts Second Edition

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