Twice in Jaipur and once in Delhi,
female security officers grabbed
my hand, spread the fingers, incredulous
at the wedding mehendi. Startling, right?
That this seemingly white girl
had snuck into their fort. But this,
this is far from the secretest secret
club. Just one stripped me bare
with her teeth, whipped me whimper
hard with her tongue. What's this?
with a poke at my hip bone-
it jutted from my pants
like a weapon. And she saw me,
the whole embarrassment of me, the years
of calorie counting and too fats
and starve, starve, starving
to redemption. My first answer
was most honest. Nothing
(that's me). My second sounded
an excuse: Bone (the damned reason
I could never fully disappear).
Show me, she commanded,
and I did. Raised my kurti, slid
my pants down homegrown
muscly thighs and displayed
my secret-telling bones
for the world to prod and judge.
I don't know what's coming next,
but god, I can't wait to live it. I told you
that I just knew-it wasn't foolish hope
or drunken wishes, but a fact. You and I
are a given, just as my eyes
are green and your hands too big.
What took you so long? The ride's
been idling, chortling exhaust for years
in the waiting for you. And now,
the tickets are punched,
the baggage stowed (it was overweight
and we paid for that, of course). Now we,
clasping hands over Asks or tells, bolt
whip fast stupid to the unfolding.
The Moving Ons
Today I was lonely
for you. For us, for what
it used to be. The Nehalem
days are over, the nights we'd careen
upon one another with other people,
then into each other after last calls.
Tonight I was lonely for the desperate
hopes of used to be's. We grieve sadness
just as much as happiness, as deeply
as love, as hard as the worst days.
Just now, I'm lonely
even with you right by my side, steady
through the comforts, wailing inside
as I curl up my feet and you stroke your moustache,
confident in the familiarity while I grasp,
drowning and desperate, oceans away.
Jessica Mehta is a Cherokee poet, novelist, yogi and founder of the Get it Ohm! karma yoga movement. A registered yoga teacher, registered children's yoga teacher, Yoga Alliance continuing education provider, and NASM-certified personal trainer, she utilizes forest bathing as a regular part of her creativity process. The author of eight books, with titles including Orygun and Constellations of My Body, her meditative process heavily seasons each of her books.
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