Poetry Spring 2017, Honorable Mention: “How to Talk to the Dying” by Jessica Mehta

We received an extraordinary number of wonderful submissions for our 2017 Poetry content, and have a number of honorable mentions to name thanks to the diligent work of our poetry staff. We’re proud to announce “How to Talk to the Dying” by Jessica Mehta as an honorable mention!

How to Talk to the Dying

I looked up What to say
to the dying because words
get stuck in my hands. There’s no good
answers. You died the same

way our father did, yellow skin
and lion eyes. What do you say

to your sister out

on the reservation? I love you,
that’s it. Your husband told me

you smiled and poured
your own Love
you back into me

all the way down
through the wires. The voice

deep, dark and foreign
like a strangers’ always is.


Jessica Mehta: “I’m a Cherokee poet, novelist, and author of four collections of poetry including Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as one novel and a non-fiction book. Over 100 of my pieces have appeared in magazines and journals around the world. I was awarded five poet-in-residency posts for 2017 in the UK, France and US.”

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