Author Feature - August 2021

Levi J. Mericle is a disabled pan-sexual poet/spoken-word artist, award winning songwriter, children's author and fiction writer from Tucumcari, NM. His work has appeared in over 30 anthologies, lit magazines and journals in over half a dozen countries including China, England, Spain, India, Indonesia and the US. He is an advocate for the mentally ill and the anti-bullying movement, as well as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. 








-For my Nephew, Matthew Mericle 

You were born biblically beautiful. 

Biblically beautiful in the sense 

you were a miracle. 

A miracle in the sense that you shouldn’t have been born. 

Torn from your mother like an autopsy in reverse. 

Torn from her belly like a sick Alien-reincarnated-movie-premiere-joke

Covered in your mother’s birthing jelly

I imagine you looked like a baby about to die.  

A baby just visiting only for a few moments, just to later say goodbye.   

I could see it in your mother’s eyes.

In your father’s hands. 

The way they shook while holding you 

as if holding his baby boy was something to fear.

But he feared you. 

We all did.

Fear gripped our throats until we were unable to say your name. 

But now your name is all I think about. 

Your little hands that were to weak to grasp

your little legs too weak to kick.

I remember your eyes,

glassed over with silent plea for help. 

But no help could amount to the help you needed. 

Your eyes are now a Bible that never gets opened 

that never gets read.

Although I now have faith that you are happy.

Biblically and beautifully dead you are,

a heavenly mark left on this world. 

You were a miracle in the eyes of so many.

A star shining bright in our eyes to this day. 

Shine on, little man,

shine on.

You will never be forgotten. 


Remember the ashes of your tears?

The smell they left on my pant leg when they fell to die?

Where every memory of unwanted solitude,

flooded your cheekbones like gray water?

I remember the comatose gleam they left on your lashes.

A fragment of sorrow I eagerly swiped away,

like candy from a diabetic’s grip.

I felt the magic in the moment when I told you,

the world will remember your smile.

That I will never forget your tears.

And that you are unworthy of pain.

Like I’ve said in the past, 

you remind me of absolutely nothing else.

A brand-new bridge I need to cross to find myself.

To define moments in my life, 

I’ve never experienced before.

If you were a paper cut, I’d never want to quit bleeding.

I’ve often thought of myself as an empty bottle.

But the way you fill me with desire,

is like quenching the hollow thirst within my dehydrated soul.

I remember feeling a pause in time, an absence of existing.

Like dying in a way only felt once without actual death.

A portion of me has died.

But only to be recreated into something I’ve only dreamed of becoming.

A person without fear.

Fear of questions never answered with inside my entity.

Fear of existing inside a maze of thistle I can never escape.

Fear of never overcoming a certain space of myself ever being fulfilled.

To have this absent terror of always being hollow,

is slowly diminishing into a butterfly effect of fulfillment.

Every time you cry, I will weep with you.

Every time you stumble to fall no matter where,

I’ll bridge my arms across the world for a smoother walk in this lifetime.

I will always remember the smell of your sorrow.

But I’ll never forget the fragrance of what makes you happy.


Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.

-Herbert Hoover

Cast Iron tears are easy.

When you’re young

when you’re broken

when your heart is heavy.

When death licks your ambitions like a lollipop—

And you throw away your desire

like the wrapper of life.

What is the taste of grief?

Iron, confliction?

Cheap attention or compassion?

When you died—

I cradled the thought of your mini corpse.

I disregarded the stiff, firm look of your eyelids.

And tried to remember your smile.

Forever hates you.

The ending embraces your bones.


I’ll wonder why

roses cry the way they do

like pails of petals poured

over concrete.

Previously published in JACLR, Journal of Artistic Creation and Literary Research, The University of Madrid, Spain and Outsider Poetry