dalia’s teaching our five-year-old son to prepare chili.

live from npr news, this is windsor johnston.

thirty years ago today, rodney king, then 25, was beaten fifty-six times by baton.

los angeles police stipulated the incident was not racially motivated.


1 red pepper

1 green pepper

1 can crushed tomato

1 yellow onion, finely brutalized


democrats suggest naming the bill to increase minimum wage “patriot pay.”

republicans say they will nullify the proposal.


½ teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoon granulated sugar


“chocolate is our secret ingredient.”


saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman will not be penalized

for the assassination of journalist jamal khashoggi.


1 can of dark kidney beans

1 can of light kidney beans

pinch of kosher salt

pepper to taste

occasionally stir chili to prevent beans from sticking to crockpot.

cook on low for seven to eight hours.


the murder trial of derek chauvin is slated to begin march 8th.

community leaders gathered outside city hall.

“we exist at a critical pivot. injustice uproots civilization.

compassion is limited—enough warfare!

we bear the tears of dead men. man can die, and yes, brother can die.

their empathy does not extend beyond themselves.

their echo chamber glamours cancer.

to say justice is blind is correct.

judges dont consider us.

on the patio, slouched in a garden chair, i press two fingers to my lips,

exhaling, flicking air with my thumb.

eduardo, the neighbor, is perfecting saxophone—round midnightby thelonious monk.

ed is having an affair.

after dissolving a domestic dispute, thompson street is relieved that police did not murder
a member of the alejo family.

between my thighs, a hibiscus. i empty the remainder of a water bottle
into her potted soil.

dalia hollers my name, and i enter the kitchen


sgt. stacey koon, officer theodore j. briseno, officer timothy wind,

and officer laurence powell were acquitted april 29th, 1992.

king, 47, died father’s day, june 17th, 2012.

jessica biel is thirty-eight.

this is npr.



on the back of a sapporo advertisement

subject of afternoon couples therapy
my inadequate communication skills.

—repeat important words and introduce them into conversation
—listen, listen, demonstrate respect
—make eye contact
—speak with positive intent

alabaster sun permeates my depression
like anglo-saxons colonizing a civilization

you unspool the ruin
exhibiting us to our therapist

her clad gaze traverses the hem of my cigarette
fantasizing some divine loophole.

ho sai gai, Chinatown

ms. feng spits into her palm, lubricating a pear.

dinner combination platters—served with choice of soup, one egg roll, and fried rice

                                                            -please order by number-


number 4: sesame beef
number 8: lemon grass chicken
number 12: roasted pork fried rice
2 tequila sunrise

i’m explained the mathematics of vulnerability.

“there’s no reward to this marriage. you got two children from the arrangement.
i got c-section scars.”

amidst the beckoning cats, philadelphia fox 29:

officer unholstered, discharging into a block party

imperialism will clutch their pearls, call expert witnesses, claim ignorance
purifying themselves before acquittal.

suffering is granular, brutal as lips around the tip of her lover’s penis.

pills dissolve the landscape

flames as usual darkness reach their hands towards heaven

                        ho sai gai suggestion—for your dining pleasure, we advise the fantastic

                                                mixture of best ingredients

nursing tequila sunrise, i sketched a poem on the back of a sapporo advertisement—

                        and in my hour, surrender has no domain.

                        naked, barricaded, tasteless cynical impulses masturbating before the mirror.

                        destitute without thunder, without saints, without amens.

                        amen, amen, we all demand something impractical.

“mortis” will be rejected by poetry magazine, i think to myself,
twirling pubic hair in the shower

ejaculating in my palm before mumbling to god.

pillaging what nectar remains in the basin—

                        dear madeline, i know your body favors winter.”

                        “ dear madeline, i chisel the black bits of my heart with wild abandonment.”

                        dear madeline, i emerged from a woman to devour her flesh.”

                        maddie—we cannot afford a divorce. our credit score is abysmal.”

tonguing the rot in my mouth
captivated by the pain one can endure

i unhook my jaw to remove the tongue
burning in an ocean, i cannot master.

madeline, is this what you envisioned
when you said things are fucked?

Evan Anders brews coffee for mass consumption in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Chicago Quarterly Review, decomp journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. He is a retired stay-at-home dad who thinks Bob Dylan was best in the eighties. Visit Evan online at 

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