On Lovers

I’ve had many affairs, but the guilt
was scarce. A sticky, chewy sauce
that hugged my tongue too tight—
surprise! But it never ruined the deliciousness.
It was, as they say,
worth it. Like chocolate cake
is worth each calorie, good sex
worth the pregnancy worries,
your face worth all those sacrifices. I think
there’s something wrong with me,
in me, something missing
or never was. How should a person feel
when they slide with slippery ease
from one warmed-up set of sheets
to the next? Worthless, worthy?
Like a slut, or swollen with freedom?
I don’t know, I don’t know, all
I know is this: I’ve taken many of you
between my legs, between my teeth
and it was glorious, all of it,
each time, every time and I will die
legs splayed and happy, unashamed
for the crematorium to burn me up.

Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet and novelist. She’s the author of four collections of poetry, including Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo, as well as the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian. Jessica is the owner of a multi-award-winning writing services business, MehtaFor, and is the founder of the Get it Ohm! karmic yoga movement. Visit Jessica’s author site at https://jessicatynermehta.com.

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