Ana Prundaru winter garden photo montage, 2015

Ana Prundaru
winter garden
photo montage, 2015


To Dear Sir

Sir, hinder what I’ve done. I was once tied
to metal bed legs so long nerves
were severed and I’ve never held
a pencil right since. Sir,
render me one same piece

once again, my parts

are littered all behind me. Sir, Ender is coming—
they’re on my dissertation panel,
the doctors with biopsy tubes
lined up neat as soldiers, the husband
who’s seen my insides are fermented
in fear. They say, Sir, end her suffering,
(like a dog)
. Kafka rolls or shakes and his
will be the last words sloshing
in my broken head. I surrender

to it all, your price tags, the everythings
I knew were arriving—slow and seasick
like heirlooms shipped in bubbles. 

Jessica Mehta is a member of the Cherokee Nation and the author of thirteen books from traditional small presses, including the poetry collections Orygun, What Makes an Always (an Eric Hoffer Book Award honorable mention), and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo. Her writing has been published in numerous literary journals, including (b)OINK, Causeway Lit, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Hawaii Review, The Pangolin Review, Vending Machine Press, and many others. She has been awarded numerous poet-in-residencies posts, including positions at Hosking Houses Trust; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, England; Paris Lit Up in France; and the Acequia Madre House in Santa Fe, NM. She is the recipient of a Barbara Deming Memorial Award in Poetry. Additionally, she has led talks, served as a panelist, or been the keynote speaker at writing events in several states and countries. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in writing (including a Fulbright Commission internship) from Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing. Her small business, MehtaFor, was founded in 2012.