Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta

I balanced sour
cream raisin pie on fingers
filed into coffins—did my best
to stop the curdling. Nebraska
demands a fattening, a suffocation
in cream thickened peak
stiff with winter beatings.
When you asked what I missed
from my childhood, it was all

succulence slipped through lips.
My mother’s roast beef
I pretended to hate at ten
in hopes of a Wendy’s burger
quartered and flailing
in ketchup. Ham and cheese on Franz
bread whenever I smell
the ocean. Sipping Coke
from a bent spoon like it’s gazpacho,
only my thin flesh cushioning
the grind between bone and steel.
None of the missings
are for something so decadent
as this screaming of colostrum
stolen from shaking animal teats,
heavy, stinking, and melting
beneath my creaking airplane seat.


Jessica Tyner MehtaJessica (Tyner) Mehta is a poet and novelist, and member of the Cherokee Nation. Jessica is the author of ten books including the forthcoming Savagery and the forthcoming Drag Me Through the Mess. Previous books include Constellations of My Body, Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an AlwaysThe Last Exotic Petting Zoo, and The Wrong Kind of Indian. She’s been awarded 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. Jessica is the recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial Fund in Poetry. She is the owner of a multi-award winning writing services business, MehtaFor, and is the founder of the Get it Ohm! karma yoga movement. Visit Jessica’s author site at