MERCURY-MARVIN
SUNDERLAND

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with Borderline Personality Disorder. He's from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He's been published by University of Amsterdam's Writer's Block, UC Davis' Open Ceilings, UC Riverside's Santa Ana River Review, UC Santa Barbara's Spectrum, and The New School's The Inquisitive Eater. His lifelong dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He's @RomanGodMercury on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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[           ]

 1. didn’t she

    used to be

    the exception

 

born among gorgons

yet human

 

    yet beautiful

    the [           ]

    of her hair

 

after

 

[

[

[

 

of poseidon

 

    her hands trembled

    on temple floors

 

cold marble

could only be

 

    her welcome

 

[

 

    athena

raged of

 

    [

 

every strand of her joy

grew into

 

    scales

    ending with fangs

    dripping with venom

 

only mortal soul

of her

gorgon sisters

 

    no longer beauty

    only beast

 

and how her stare

did turn sight

to statue

 

    2. didn’t she

    only want

    to protect herself

 

wasn’t

[

 

    punishment enough

 

she didn’t need

to have her beauty

 

    robbed from her

 

[

[

 

    as she hid

    came the man

 

the mortal perseus

was guided by the gods

 

    stalked her by

    the shoes of hermes

 

terrorized the

greae

 

    stole their eye

 

cowered behind

athena’s mirrored shield

 

    from only there

    could she be [

    without stone

 

sliced her neck

with a sickle

 

    oh punish her

    for what was already

    punishment

    [

    [

 

from her neck

blood wept

 

    smearing over

    his hands

 

at night cry

the gorgons

of their [       ]

 

    3. oh perseus

 

cleaned the blood

from his

unshaky

fingers

 

    to him

    this was just

    another monster.

 

[

he took

the severed head

 

    and stowed it [         ]

    in his bag

    for safekeeping

 

[

reduce her to

a simple tool

a weapon.

 

    and with

    the object

    he made of her

 

he used

her dead gaze

 

    [

    [

 

turned king [        ]

to stone.

 

    after all

    her dead body

    was given

    no burial.

 

from object

[

[

 

    of all

    [

    [

 

didn’t she

used to be

the exception

 

    born among gorgons

    yet human.

CAN OF PINEAPPLE RINGS

today i threw out

the can of pineapple rings

because they got covered in mold.

 

i hadn’t thought

that a can of fruit

drowning in juice

could go bad so easily

 

as if all that acid

meant nothing.

 

when you eat

raw pineapple

the acids inside

eat away at meat

 

which is why you’re left with that

funky feeling

 

of chemicals

eating your tongue

 

& grill it

as a meat tenderizer.

 

tomorrow i will

go grocery shopping

 

& buy new cans of the

forbidden fruit.

 

acid juices

preserve

acid rings.

 

cheap tin somehow

won’t be eaten away

 

only thrown out

when it has lost

all that i can contain.

HOLY WATER OF FLOWERS

three (3) sprits

on my collarbone

 

one (1) sprit

on my left shoulder

one (1) sprit

on my left wrist

 

repeat on my right

 

two (2) sprits

just right above

my forehead

 

& then

i set the pink perfume

on the counter

 

& put on

my pink eyeshadow

 

just behind

my pink glasses

 

then i will put on

my dangly pink star earrings

 

later i will put on

my pink teddy bear purse

 

& drink from

my pink water bottles

 

sitting on my

fluffy pink chair pillow

 

&

 

with my perfume

i give myself

 

my own holy water

of flowers

 

spray it

kind of like

the cross

 

& i know that

a lot of people

think i look pretty funky

 

because i’m a

tattooed bearded buff guy

 

& my favorite color is pink

 

that pink flower water

gives me that

confidence boost

 

it’s

 

been a long time

since i last went to church

 

& i actually miss

being religious.

 

one day i think

i will go back

 

to my

gay church.

 

covered in rainbows

because god loves all.

 

but for now

i spray

 

my flower water

& thank this world

 

for all things

bright and beautiful.

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY

float like a butterfly

sting like a bee

 

bite like a bed bug

roll like a scarab

 

weave like a spider

drink like a mosquito

 

dig like an earthworm

anger like a wasp

 

rub like a housefly

infest like a cockroach

 

eat like a termite

strut like a ladybug

 

spin like a silkworm

smell like a stinkbug

 

itch like a louse

follow like a moth

 

sing like a cricket

scream like a cicada

 

jump like a grasshopper

fly like a dragonfly

 

glow like a firefly

shimmy like a silverfish

 

threaten like an earwig

bite like a tick

 

shine like a beetle

slime like a slug

 

nomad like a snail

work like an ant

 

float like a butterfly

sting like a bee.