Dosh Was

by Ammayeh Benton

Dosh was
Born atop a mountain

the sacred place where Abraham went to slay his son

colored olive sandstorm eyed
 hair of Jesus’ night sky
the spitting image of man made God obviously beautiful
 wrapped in Zion’s lace

Shielded from the world in his invisible alabaster box
 He prophesied with Mohammed

detached with Buddha

I Was in awe of him
Biblically addicting scented sandalwood This was just a veil

Like all veils it was lifted and he fell beneath 
 his ethereal 

layers

thrummed a suffocating darkness

He would rather feed dogs than nourish those around him

He took pleasure in the sight of an emaciated soul

He laughed at the stained glass hearts of others

He only respected the dog for it chains itself to that which feeds it

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The Feel of it All

by José Diaz

 

I feel everything,
Snailing, life millimeters by,
Dragging to what may be the inevitable.
Skin scrapes.
Concrete.
Fissuring . . . fire released.
Fists balled,
Pull-up,
Push-up,
Squat . . . moisturize.
Four hours in, I arise,
Meeting with a bus, ferry, train ride.
Two hours worked, eyes bloodshot,
Better health in a cell block.
Strands of silver in my hair.
I feel everything, my body is no longer the same. Eyes smile, a crow is resting by their sides.
A need to shave, socks are dirty, laundry day, Off the bus, the man lays, investigate,
Watch the yellow tape.
Is there beauty in the projects . . .
Can’t tell by its homogenized face.
I feel everything, but this is just another day.

Split Rules

by Akeel Adil

Hi, my name is Anam and I am a 26 year-old Pakistani American woman. Even though I am physically here, I am invisible in this house. I am an accountant and far from a burden to my father, whose house I still live in. I pay for the groceries, I pay for my own phone, and to top it off, I have been paying for every single car I’ve owned. Well, not everyone in this house pays for their own luxuries. This is just one of the many webs of my life.

Now to my “loving” family… First, my mother. She is a breast cancer survivor and also my best friend. She has gone through her own agonies in life and it seems like no one but me hears her pain and happiness. People in this house don’t listen much. When my mom is not at work, she is stuck with my aunt,butmyauntsheiscrazyandveryanti-meandanti-mymom. If I start telling you about her it would just drive you nuts, just remember: crazy aunt.

Now the only person my aunt does like and worships is my brother. How he manages to charm my aunt is beyond me! He doesn’t do anything for her—I mean not an effing thing. For some freaking reason he is always right. I guess that’s a cultural thing. The man is always right, or at least in this house. He can go anywhere at any time and no one bats an eyelash. I leave, it’s like world war 10. I do things for my aunt, buy her things because no one wants to spend money or time with her, yet I’m always wrong. Ooh yeah, he is becoming a doctor so everyone (my dad and aunt) thinks he is better than me. My miserable dad says to my cousin Sarah, who is a doctor, “Don’t live a simple life.” This message is well directed towards me, as I am not a doctor but an accountant like him. He makes me feel like shit. Why do some people feel good about themselves by making other feel bad?

Whenever my dad senses that I am in a good mood, he knows how to ruin it. Earlier today, for example, I finished all my work at my job and was happy because it was sitting there for weeks.  I get home, tired and drained, and I just passed out on the couch. When I awake for dinner, my dad actually asks me “Why did you take a nap?” I was so heated. Like, how stupid of a question is that. I simply say, “oh because I sit on my butt all day so I don’t know dad, I’ll ask you next time before I nap.” He then gets pissed at me for responding. Yes, I know—what a loving family.

I always put family first, now I’m going to be first. I decided I would become more hardworking and more in tune with myself. I exercise my mind to emit energy that could engulf another person’s body andmind. Ahh, I saw a difference in my family because they didn’t see how I was making them happy for once, even if it was me doing it. It seemed to happen over night. I asked Allah in the last prayer of the

night, Isha, to allow me to bring happiness to other people through me. And there I was tapping into other people’s minds and allowing their negative thoughts to be happy ones. I just can’t believe it happened overnight.

When I came into contact with people, I could tell by their aura how they were feeling. One person I could not quite get was him. The love of my life. It been couple years now since I gained through blessing these uncanny abilities. Every time I was with him, Icouldnotreadwhathewanted me to. For some reason I felt him so ever-present in my mind at all times, but I couldn’t get in his. The million dollar question now was: was he also blessed with these abilities, and how long did he have them?

One day we were hanging out and about to watch a movie, “Finding Nemo.” He was unnaturally quiet, but nice to me in the way he is always. I pushed into his mind, an inch at a time. I guess he allowed me to, because all of a sudden I felt a door slam in my face—actually my mind. He was allowing me to enter, but when I was at the threshold he slammed me out. This is where my whole world hung. I would soon enough learn: the love of my life had a deep, dark secret that would change both our lives and worlds!

As I Walk

by Ismael Bonano

As I walk through the valley of The Shadow of death, I shall fear no evil.
Heroin addicts that don’t fear those needles.
Thieves and murderers that don’t fear or regard any legals.
Are we sane people?
What the system does is blame people.
Stripping one’s humanity—they say they can change people. Stripped of our names, we are all one and the same, my people. There is fear in knowing truth and a thin line between good and evil.

What do we Really See?

by Sha’id Muwakkil

I decided to go out to eat after work. So I get to the restaurant only to be told, “Sir, we’re sorry, but you can’t enter here for dinner. You must have on proper attire.”

I am wearing a shirt, tie, slacks and shoes. I am told that I need a jacket, and no offer is made to provide me with a jacket. As I take in the view of the place, I notice many of the patrons have been dressed as I. Some, because they had removed their jackets, others simply didn’t have one.

So I explained that I had a reservation and was having guests join me.

As this was taking place, a couple came in. The man, again, was dressed as I was and wasn’t allowed entry. The maître d’ was called to the front. He arrived with a dinner jacket in the man’s size. When I inquired as to if there was an available jacket I could use, I was told it wasn’t the establishment’s policy to provide jackets to its patrons.

I finally realized that “proper attire is a must,” meant that you must be white to eat there.

Separate lunch counters still exist.

A Walk in the Park

by Ammayeh Benton

Time flows around me, I can’t catch up.  I roam the earth for sustenance, I can never find.  I bow my head and raise my hands surrendering to whatever gazes down.  I smoke cigarettes to ease my ache but it only seems to intensify the pain.  My life is wet with tragedy and leaves a trail of midnight wherever I roam.  So I walked the streets, it was 3am, I wanted to find a thief.  A criminal to pickpocket my soul.  I walked the earth it seemed so desolate.  I saw a homeless man huddling under a dumpster to hide himself from the rain. I saw two youths covered by a lipstick fog emitting echoes of pleasure.  I looked toward the night sky and was greeted with blackness. No pretty twinkling stars  No beautiful full-figured moon to seduce agony.  I walked searching, looking at closed shops and street lights directing no vehicles.

Hours pass and I found myself in a wooded a area.  A place I have never ventured to.  The air was different, the sights and the sounds.  I felt my numbness slowly dissolving into the air.  I looked around and saw aging oak trees and arms of ferns reaching to give me an embrace. I listened to the sound of nocturnal beings whispering a lullaby the orchestration of chirps and croaks began.  Gorgeousness in a life that has been so brutal to me.  I found a moss covered rock and positioned myself on top of it.