A Letter to the Dead Grandmothers That Raised Us
–For friends and for myself.
The tip of my pen leaks forgiveness.
Jotted spaces between lined pages, I seek your redemption.
My encapsulated words remind me, I swallow
memories like the Xanax you popped, and the whiskey you chugged to forget me.
I stumble through my thought-maze, like
gods on the run. My tongue, coated with smoke-grenade-juice,
hiding every feeling behind every word.
I’m lost without your hatred. Though your hatred is why I’m lost.
Songs of my incandescent love, overshadowed by nightmares you’ve placed in my wake.
My mind is my amulet of security,
better then any plastic Jesus
you kept wrapped around your neck or layered in your throat.
Poverty of the soul was what you specialized in.
Yet you kept your god on stand-by: Your hands.
Slapping the demons from my flesh, beating the gay from my body
with your bible shaped fists. To remind me of the purity and the normalcy.
Coffin lids remind me of your faith.
A closed-off songbird that eats the flesh of other young birds.
I don’t pray to the same god you prayed to.
I don’t worship the same god you shoved down my throat as a child.
I wish you were back. Although I do not miss the history between us.
You fought me at every step, of the walk in my shoes.
But I trod on comfort-land now. I do not wade in your gay-less submerged waters.
I sing the songs of joyous birds. I pray to a God that’s accepting.
The tip of my pen may leak forgiveness in this letter.
But my heart will forever spew the hunger of needing your approval.
You’re gone now, and I can forever be cherished for who I am.
This is the path of my destiny, diamonds in the eyes of the future!
Levi J. Mericle is a queer and disabled poet/writer from Tucumcari, New Mexico. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as, Apricity Magazine: University of Texas Austin, Journal of Artistic Creation & Literary Research: University of Madrid, Eunoia Review, Black Heart Magazine, Elephant Journal, Awakenings Review, Kaleidoscope Magazine, Mystery Tribune and more. When he’s not reading or writing, Levi enjoys spending time with family and collecting old cameras and typewriters.