Secrets weigh a tremendous lot
so you have to be real sure
you can bear the brunt.
And that they’re worth it—like a child
who cries something so fierce
you rock them to quiet, something
like complacency. Heavy burdens
only strengthen tendons, grow
muscles, densify bones so long
before the joints give out. I’ve carried
so many pinky swears they’ve built colonies
on my back. A dowager's hump
of things I’ll never tell, words packed
with a blistering power my tongue
would burn before those syllables
can trickle fire down my chin.
Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet, novelist, and storyteller. She’s the author of eight books, which includes six collections of poetry: the forthcoming Constellations of My Body, the forthcoming Savagery, as well as Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo. Visit Jessica’s author site at www.jessicamehta.com.
ISSUE SEVENTEEN: My Salty Reels
Lori Moseman Anderson
life jacket made only of sleeves torn from cloaks
History of the Hurricane
Rachel J. Bennett
Castle bakes casseroles for the masses & ties
The Weight of Secrets
and only through walking do you arrive.