They say women are supposed to kill themselves
neatly, like good girls. Leave no mess behind
so everyone else can go on
with minimal disruptions. No lovers left
to scrub floors, pick up brains
or pour hydrogen peroxide on crusty bits.
That’s why bathtubs are so popular. Just two
slices up the wrist, flick flick.

Not me. Me,

I’d buy a gun. A big one. Put it
on credit and get a whole box
of bullets. (I imagine you get strange
looks if you ask for a single). And
I’d wear white, all white, like a bride
and a virgin. Do my hair and smear
on expensive lipstick so you couldn’t tell
where my lips began and the blood
started to lick. I’d hold that gun a long time,

my last stupid purchase. Warm it
in my palms, memorize the lines
with my fingertips. Then, I’d pull
the trigger with empty lungs, and I’d want

to think of nothing, I’d try
to think of nothing but I know—
God, I know—my mind would fill,
dark like frozen chambers
with all those heavy thoughts of you.

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

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