I: Nude with a Watch

Time ticks on her naked
wrist. It ticks, chronic, her hand
on her belly saying to her
there is enough of it to last
forever. She knows, the nude
she knows there is never enough
as she tells him they will meet
again, touches his lips and knows.


II: Nude with a Syringe

She plunges it in and thrills
at the touch of the cold, sharp
tip, her fingers coiling in lines
outwards, her thumb pushing in
the needle past bruised skin
and she thinks how lonesome
it must be in the shivering blue.


III: Nude with a Pipe

It dangles from her lower
lip, a habit as curved and bent
as her mind. She knows not where
it will uncoil next, the cloud
of smoke a cloak she pulls tight
around her, red eyes and pigeon-
chest stressing the wound she tries
to make believe, almost believes
is another's, and the pipe is the pen
is the thrill of the sea lapping at her bare
feet, is the tickle in her throat of semen.


IV: Nude with a Pen

She knows the pen
is the knife that holds
the world at a distance
as she flexes, holds easy
the stance of the steady quill
or a heron poised at the edge
of the pond ready to take
flight into the sky, bruised blue
as her naked marked  belly.



[Sabitha Satchi was born in Kerala, India and educated in Kerala, Delhi, and London. Her poems have been published in several journals and anthologies including Singing in the Dark (Penguin Random House, 2021), Witness (Red River, 2021), and Extinction Violin: The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Poets (Penguin, 2021). She is a member of the Afro-Asia project, Insurrections Ensemble. Former lecturer of English in Delhi University, she is now an art curator and writer based in New Delhi, after being Commonwealth Scholar in the U.K., and Paul Mellon Fellow at Yale University, U.S.A. Her collection, Hereafter is coming out from Poetrywala, Mumbai, in 2021.]

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