The Harmony of My Hair Starting Great and Ending Grand
there’s a memory that starts with a curl pattern in one corner crossing into the other; strikes Alberta’s nerves when she asks with all the seriousness of a fly dying on her stern pressed brow, “why would you color a fire truck blue?” and I guess that’s why I like beanies and hard to medium bristles, just add water to activate the nature of a drop of stress that refuses to show any other way – the desperate need to color inside the lines but only in a way that makes sense to me, the fire // that locked the tips of my mother’s braids after hours on a saturday // the key being her kids and their daydreams on 106 & Park // the glock being the record skip of oil slipped from the first natural I ever sprouted on the monkey bars // all the way back to the ricochet of my Grand’s bangs. slick on one side. beaded on the other. that’s the orchestra of my hairline. a tapper blooms an inside joke from juices and berries. and I love that scene – the cross-stitching of Black on every fingertip greasing me down the middle.
Joshua Merchant (they / them) 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 it has become too common to deny access to our true source of power as a people for the sake 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 580Split, Anvil Tongue Books, Spiritus Mundi Review, Roi Faineant Literary Press and elsewhere.