Jessica (Tyner) Mehta
How much Indian are you? All of it,
red velvet proofs deep in my folds.
Fry bread thighs undercooked, whipped
merengue cheekbone peaks
and a blackened cut of feather
tattoo marinating over childhood
scars, biopsy stitches and mole seasonings
from a life of willing the sweetness
burning inside to rise, rise, rise.
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta, born and raised in Oregon and a member of the Cherokee Nation, is the author of three collections of poetry and one novel. She’s also the founder of MehtaFor: Writing and Editing. She serves as a poetry reviewer for Contemporary Literary Review India and Foreword Reviews. You can find out more about her publishing history at jessicatynermehta.com.