Red Popsicles - Jessica Mehta

 

I had a sister—it’s hard

to turn a have into a had, snip

off a quarter like split ends.

She used to tell me

I didn’t act Indian. I wanted

to tell her she couldn’t ride

on that brown skin alone.

When she died, I wasn’t there.

After the call ended, when the numbness

kicked in, I let myself

for once

have the cherry popsicle first.

Didn’t make myself

pay penance by choking

down the bad flavors. And I sucked

that cold redness straight

to my center, right to the core.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

JESSICA (TYNER) MEHTA is a Cherokee poet, novelist, and storyteller. She is the author of five collections of poetry including the forthcoming Constellations of My Body, Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo, as well as a novel, The Wrong Kind of Indian. She has been awarded the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Prize in Poetry, and numerous poet-in-residencies posts, including positions at Hosking Houses Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, Paris Lit Up in France, and the Acequia Madre House in Santa Fe, NM.

You can also find her here www.jessicamehta.com.