The Falsity of Fast Deaths

You picture broken necks quick
as wishing bones. I didn’t know

the head could hang for hours, limp
and heavy as forgotten, unsqueezed
washcloths. That you still had to rush

them to the vet, cradle their little heads
like overripe persimmons. Cruel,

how the nearly dead are sentenced
to stare down earth, the descent so slow—

welcoming black soil readying her grip
for the space spooned just for 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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