a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
won’t taste black poundings from the steel door of my illegal basement apartment.
A voice of war from the other side, “Police Department!” And I unlock my door like
I am responding to a call. Cops coming in by twos, a cacophony of dispatchers, “Suspect
in the area, description: any hispanic male 4, 5, 6, or 7 feet tall. May or may not have
papers or drugs. Favorite words are cervezas, cigarrillos, and unemployment.” Searching
my apartment with without-warrant strides, walking heavy and slow to press dirt into
the dirt color rugs of my tongue flipping mattresses like casino dealers flipping royal
cards, like they flipped me. As if my skin was tattooed with a kick me sign. Like hitting
the jackpot, like purchasing a serta, they call me in as a code, they call me signal 13.
They tell me they are renovating while rummaging through my bedroom, now I am
preparing them dinner with my stuff they threw on the floor. My mouth is in the shape
of laughter that sounds like crying over the chopping of onions because in a new world
my new name will be king and my tongue would be pink if I can hold it in this lifetime.
Dimitri Reyes is a Puerto-Vegan poet, educator, organizer, and YouTuber from Newark, New Jersey. He is the recipient of SLICE Magazine’s 2017 Bridging the Gap Award for Emerging Poets, and a finalist for the 2017 Arcturus Poetry Prize by the Chicago Review of Books. He has organized large-scale poetry events such as #PoetsforPuertoRicoNewark. Dimitri has read at venues such as The Dodge Poetry Festival, Split This Rock, Busboys and Poets, and the American Poetry Museum. His work is published or forthcoming in Vinyl, Kweli, Entropy, Cosmonauts, Obsidian, Acentos, and others. You can find him documenting the poetry community at