Best of the Net 2014  


the last flower i saw in south suicide
queens was on a little girl's tee, a trio
of violets banged up with giddiness—
it sure would be nice to get some

shade in this neighborhood, cool
down the hot heads, make people
speak peace to each other, get it?
i got some bamboo indoors lotsa

blacks got bamboo indoors
big dumbo leaves gold-streaked
green beautiful oafs like those kids
who get on the special bus

barking at the sky bandaged
in clouds a carton of triple-chinned
strawberries discarded curbside
the funky sweet of overripe fruit

changes your posture, makes you
walk upright, proud
of your second-hand style
your mind creates an explosion

of flowers you can't identify petals
lilac carmine canary and all you
wanna do is let your hands become
ostriches, bury porgy and king

deep in flour and meal, you wanna
slay them bad boys the way
your moms did, every piece red-
boned from sazon con culantro

chug something don't need
a corkscrew, something that cracks
loud as a grown man's knuckles
whose fizz rivals canola seething

in your bestest, oldest skillet—
i know well a cast iron pot's
multifunction for cook and kill
have seen a couple step-dads go

toe to toe with mi madre, chests
puffed up like puri bread
which tastes ten times better
than the mens i've had

- Amber Atiya (from Blunderbuss Magazine)