She Was Always So Thirsty

Jessica Mehta


I packed my mom in Tupperware
from the dollar store. She always wanted
to go to the Bahamas, even before
she’d gone to sand—before her bones
could be mistaken for broken
shells. I don’t know if it’s bad
to divide ashes, leave a slice
of femur in the Caribbean foam,
a chip of coccyx in Oregon waterfalls
gushing like overdue orgasms.
How does a person want to be
after our skin’s burned to crisps,
the only organ capable
of holding all our worst messes
together? She never said but I felt
her wailing through my insides
demanding turquoise waters, a cleanse,
a starting over. But then again,
who’s surprised? She was always so thirsty.

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Jessica Mehta is a multi-award-winning Cherokee poet and novelist. She's working on some exciting projects including the creation of the antipode form of poetry, curating an anthology featuring the poetry of incarcerated indigenous women, and collaborating with Equal Reality to create a unique poetic virtual reality experience. Find out more at and follow her on Twitter.

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