All the Ways
just because we’re quiet
doesn’t mean we aren’t railing inside.
We ate herring in red coats and I told you
all the ways I’d kill myself, how
your lips were wilder than the moon.
It’s a lie
that we’re born alone, die alone.
through slick thighs,
wet bellies, and maybe
we’ll never see our mothers again. Maybe
she’ll stick to us like burned
batter all our lonely lives. And we’ll die
with all those lovers, gone
mothers, animals that licked our hurts
knotted like stowaways
in the most secret
desolate chambers of our hearts.
They escort us, shaking
straight into the luminous.
Originally published at Allegory Ridge.
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet and author of six books, including four collections of poetry. She’s received numerous poet-in-residency posts, both in the U.S. and overseas, as well as the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund prize in poetry.