Issue 26: Sabitha Satchi


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 UK, and Paul Mellon Fellow at Yale University, USA. Her collection, Hereafter is coming out from Poetrywala, Mumbai, in 2021.

Copyright © 2021 by Sabitha Satchi, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.