The Evils

The Evils

There’s honoring my stitches
and then there’s romanticizing
the knife; the laugh following
the trace of fingertips that make
a wound a lotus at night.

I learned to sew my own flesh
together and was happy to show
someone how to treat me.

Maybe I was too fresh or
his fingers were sticky. nails too
long- lusted for blood even when his
body bag was on a diet.

My entrails seem to sniff him out.
neither of us are proud of this.
he chuckles with the mass of his torso
resting on my thighs, why would you
let me do this to you? I smirk, you’re fine.
I’m not in pain yet

Joshua Merchant


Joshua Merchant (He/Him, They/Them) is a Black Queer native of East Oakland exploring what it means to be human as an intersectional being. A lot of what they’ve been exploring as of late has been in the realm of loving and what it means while processing trauma, loss, heartbreak. They feel as though as a people, especially those of us more marginalized than others, it has become too common to deny access to our true source of power as a means of feeling powerful. A collective trauma response if you will. However, they’ve come to recognize with harsh lessons and divine grace that without showing up for ourselves and each other, everything else is null and void. Innately, everything Merchant writes is a love letter to their people. Because of this they've had the honor to witness their work being held and understood in literary journals such as 580Split, Eleven Eleven, and The Rootwork Journal.