Everything and Everyone                                                       by James Diaz

I was only just beginning
I was only just
 
I took off my layers
my shame my skin
I said "if I know you I know you"
and everything we need to be good
and settled is just a small breath away
 
I took it lower
my whole face
against the parking lot pavement
some are born this way
I've seen it happen
 
enough gets taken and a person becomes gone inside
 
I'm done with cruelty
with small hands mouths minds
let them have it
whatever this is
 
when they ask you what you love
tell them: everything
 
everything
and everyone
 
and I am only just beginning.

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and All Things Beautiful Are Bent (Alien Buddha, 2021) as well as the founding editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. Their work has appeared in Thrush Poetry Journal, Corporeal, Rust + Moth, and Cleaver Magazine. They reside in upstate New York.

Guest Editor Allison Blevins is a queer disabled writer.  She is the author of the collections Handbook for the Newly Disabled, A Lyric Memoir (BlazeVox, 2022) and Slowly/Suddenly (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press, 2021).  Cataloguing Pain (YesYes Books, 2023), a finalist for the Pamet River Prize, is forthcoming. She is also the author of the chapbooks Chorus for the Kill (Seven Kitchens Press, 2022), Susurration (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), Letters to Joan (Lithic Press, 2019), and A Season for Speaking (Seven Kitchens Press, 2019), part of the Robin Becker Series. Her chapbook fiery poppies bruising their own throats (Glass Lyre Press) is forthcoming.  Allison is the Founder and Director of Small Harbor Publishing and the Executive Editor at the museum of americana. She lives in Missouri with her partner and three children where she co-organizes the Downtown Poetry reading series.  For more information visit allisonblevins.com.

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