First, I lost the halo,
next my wings—ripped away.

Poking plaintively through
the shoulder blades—
splintered stumps that once flew.

Then, extinguished,
the light that was always me.

In the well of darkness,
I wait alone—
redemption is a word,
falling away, no more relevant.

Under the skin of shame,
guilt wears away,
pooling around the feet
a mire of mud, sucking.

I won’t stop looking up
to the high on highs—the pride;
nor be terrified to look down and
see my feet gone cloven.

Carry-on Bags

She –
Carried all her tales
Firmly packed into the bags
Underneath her eyes.

Your Name

In the soft darkness
I taste your name
As it coats my tongue
In a slow cadence,
Painting the roof of my mouth
With its rich timbre.
Trickling into hidden crevices
Along the walls of my cheeks;
Blending with
The velvety warmth
Underneath my tongue.
All sharp and pungent,
With a touch of salt
Like sweat… or blood.
A sudden spicy sharpness
As the vowels meet
The consonants,
In a gush of fricative warmth
At the tip of my tongue;
Then roll beyond my lips
And into the warmth of the stars.

Tea for Two

I do not want to write
Love poems to you anymore.
They seem so inadequate-
Like using the Milky Way
To bind in my heart.
I would rather sit by you,
Pour into our chipped teacups
The endless night;
Sugared with a sprinkle of stars,
And sip in silence.
In perfect silence.


“Take my saris,” you implore,
“I no longer wear these.”
But I always refuse.
They are too old for me;
Too drab for me;
Just never my color;
Nothing to go with it;
Or I have no time
To starch and iron cottons.
I stoutly refuse to see
The disappointment
You quickly hide.

Back across the time zones,
I am dressing for a party.
I am excited to drape my bright new silk
Matched with the perfect jhumkas.*
As my daughter perfects my pleats,
She gives me a sudden hug,
“Mmmm,” she breathes in,
“You smell just like Ammoomma!”*

(* Grandmother)

Remitha Satheesh was born and brought up in Nagercoil, near Kanyakumari, and now lives in the USA. Her works have been published in the NC Bards Poetry Review and Bards Against Hunger Anthology. After a successful stint as a weekly columnist for an online portal, she is currently working on her collection of poetry that she hopes to publish soon.