Mercy Viola

Mercy Viola is a Queer, Black and Native nonbinary writer, water protector, visual artist, community organizer, Leo house-Scorpio moon, performer, singer, dancer, graduate of the New York City public schools K-12, cultural worker, anti-violence educator, survivor, grief alchemist and comic. Their work is grounded in Black feminist and Indigenous cultural and historical knowledge, scholarship and research. Mercy creates with the intention of remembering cultural blueprints and the healing possibility of relating to ourselves, each other, the earth and our ancestors. 



A rumbling that cradles me in between dreams 
Vibrating booms remind me of construction 
What am I building in my slumber? 
I lean in with anticipation and stretch out into soft circles
Quiet stillness spreads
 The skies invisible finger plucks the first string it could reach 
Slamming the chords into each other 
Until they pass over me 
Into the shaking calm
Touching every layer with their humming 

I Just Want to Be Free, I Just Got To Be Me 

Loud waves crashed at my feet as I stepped forward. I waded into a gurgling that pushed up to my hips, pausing for windows of softness I walked in further. The loudness of rubbing leaves grew faint as I found my place. I closed my eyes at the sharp brightness that danced outside my eyelids onto rippling waters. I let the salt pull me up as the waves slowly passed under me, moving my body from side to side, dancing away from my skin then back onto me wet with warmth.

Taking me like a baby into her gentle embrace I didn’t have to hold anything, not even my own body. I snuggled closer, resting my neck into her hands. 

Mama bordered me with protection that sliced forward onto shores. I sighed, savoring the freedom to rest.