1. The Exchange: To Our Flags
  2. The Exchange: The Negro Speaks of Dryland
  3. The Exchange: blue is darker than Black
  4. The Exchange: Sans Fleur
  5. The Exchange: Blindspot
  6. The Exchange: Her.
  7. The Exchange: Lint
  8. The Exchange: Reality Check
  9. The Exchange: Caution
  10. The Exchange: Rubik’s Cube
  11. The Exchange: The Path
  12. The Exchange: sTREEtS
  13. The Exchange: Butter
  14. The Exchange: The Bright Side
  15. The Exchange: Concrete to Shoreline
  16. This Empty Cage
  17. Paper Machete
  18. The Exchange: Marketplace
  19. The Exchange: One Year Anniversary
  20. The Exchange: Sunscreen Affective Disorder (SAD) 
  21. The Exchange: Immigration & Culture
  22. The Exchange: Love, Street Cleaning, & Other Myths
  23. The Exchange: An Accent Enters a Room and Says Good Morning
  24. The Exchange: An ode to Oceania
  25. The Exchange: Happy New Year
  26. The Exchange: NEW GROOVE/LODESTAR
  27. The Exchange: Wolves, Strides, and Landslides
  28. The Exchange: Honest Haikus
  29. The Exchange: Foreheads, Haikus and More
  30. The Exchange: Softness, Water Bottles, and Movie Theaters
  31. The Exchange: Algae and Understanding
  32. The Exchange: we like it here!
  33. The Exchange: tag & waiting
  34. The Exchange: spare
  35. The Exchange: Marketplace
  36. The Exchange: some coffee
  37. The Exchange: A Scary Story
  38. The Exchange: Consumer Report
  39. The Exchange: Affirmations and Sunflowers
  40. The Exchange: Autopay and A Fast Summer
  41. The Exchange: Squirrels and The White
  42. The Exchange: The Taj Mahal and Rutina de Sueño
  43. The Exchange: The Garden
  44. The Exchange: Jess Taught Me My Body Is Trying Its Best
  45. The Exchange: Jollof Rice and Losing it
  46. The Rotation
  47. The Exchange: Definitely late, but here, and Doubt
  48. The Exchange: KonMari and Yoga
  49. The Exchange: “Unexpected” and The Institution of Dreamin
  50. The Exchange: Dating a Girl From Chicago, and See
  51. The Exchange: Un alma cotorra
  52. The Exchange: Time Travel and Chasing Love & Ambition

we like it here!
by Chima “Naira” Ikoro

what is there left? 
if not forests, if not coral reefs, or sumatran orangutans 
if not glaciers, 
if not walls and floors free from stickers telling us where to stand cause y’all can’t listen 
and people dying by the hundreds of thousands because y’all can’t listen 
what is there left? 
not the ability to sleep outside since y’all won’t give me a house.
not seasons that are distinct.
not 35 cent chips.
not gas for under three dollars. 
not student loan forgiveness. 
not safety for kids in schools or people in churches, or at the store 
or anywhere really…at all…ever
what is left? 
definitely not a revolution, 
cause y’all not tired enough yet. for some reason
y’all must love it here. 

Chima Ikoro is the Weekly’s Community Builder.

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“What do you want to invoke that has become extinct around you?” 

This prompt was provided by E’mon Lauren. This could be a poem, journal entry, or a stream-of-consciousness piece. Submissions could be new or formerly written pieces. 

Submissions can be sent to bit.ly/ssw-exchange or via email to chima.ikoro@southsideweekly.com.

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Featured below is a reader response to a previous prompt. The last poem and prompt can be found here

what is queer
by rin 

What is queer?
When corrupt brutality
Becomes your reality
And you’re left on the side of the road
To have lived through it all
That is queer

Your Black isn’t white
If it costs you your life
And you’re thrown through a system
That’ll eat you alive

Your mother won’t tell you
How hard it might get
To be 21
At the edge of regret
And the heartbreak you’ll face,
As everyone knows,
Will come deep inside you
And tremble your bones

You won’t learn that “No”
Doesn’t mean Daddy stop
Till your body is bruised
Beaten, battered, and dropped
You’ll often think why
You can’t be alone
This body you’ll grow in
You’ve never called home

It’s 2.99
For a bottle of wine
When you have nothing else
To keep you alive
The going gets rough
It never feels over
Till your faced with a lover
And can’t fuck them sober

Your father won’t tell you
How hard it might get
To be 24
Past the edge of regret
The heartbreak you’ve faced,
As everyone knows,
Will start to feel numb
And shrivel your bones

So what is queer?
A chokehold fear?
A deadend silence
Turned to violence
A blow to the head
That might leave you dead
Unwanted attention
That begs them to question
“Who are you? And why are you here?”
You have lived through it all
That. Is. Queer.

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