a duet-poem

by James Schwartz & Joshua Merchant 

Dedicated to LGBTQ Africa 

Uganda / Iraq / Iran / Tennessee ban

Man / Man / Referendum / Under ban

The streets are red / Throats red

Men of God mock our dead.

bury me under your usages 

of my cousins you told to be 

real enough to see seventeen 

under an underpass pass the school.

Priests / Preachers / Pastors / Political

Queers / Debacle / Death / Ridicule

The streets are silent / Mob violent

The Church is barred / Shamans silent.

loudly calling us everything under

the book bins by burning the cooked 

pens held by our teachers your forefathers 

sent by a ship disguised as emails and hit send.

In AK-America / Always great

In rainbow love we trust /

a bloodlust called me by your name. spoke of God. 

my father taught me the difference between 

little and big G’s. I know your wallet knows us well. 

which pocket swells when you hear a bullet shelled? 

Uganda / Iraq / Iran / Florida ban

Man / Man / Under ban

Republicans going rogue

Preachers / Same thing / pogue
James Schwartz is a poet & author of various poetry collections including The Literary Party: Growing Up Gay and Amish in America (Kindle, 2011), Punatic (Writing Knights Press, 2019) & most recently Motor City Mix, Sunset in Rome (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). He resides in Detroit, Michigan. Twitter @queeraspoetry  

Joshua Merchant is a Black Queer native of East Oakland, CA exploring what it means to be human as an intersectional being. What they’ve been exploring as of late has been in the realm of loving and what it means while processing trauma. 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. 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, understood, published or forthcoming in literary journals such as 580Split, The Root Work Journal, Anvil Tongue Books, Spiritus Mundi Review, and elsewhere. Twitter: @ibursailor_dune 


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