Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Ridhi Chaturvedi

Each Time I'm Seen Naked


Each time I'm seen naked,
With water on my body,
At different parts,
Glistening in half-dimmed lights,
I remember something.

I remember when there was
No water, I was dry, and curious.
I remember a head, a massive head,
With a filthy-long-thick nose,
Trying to smell my dryness.
I remember myself shivering
In summer-sweat,
Or was it monsoon?
No, it was dry, it was summer,
Summer of Delhi.
I remember the massive head
Trying to moisten me,
With knived-lips, sharp knived-lips,
Massive head was disappointed
With my dryness.
That massive head is
Mom's favorite head.
She doesn't find the nose filthy,
She doesn't find the lips sharp,
She doesn't understand why.
I remember her not understanding why,
I remember her not realizing why.

Now, as I'm angry of
Having been seen naked,
My mom's angry.
She doesn't understand
How do I remember?
She doesn't realize
Her little dry daughter
Is wet and big,
And a woman that throbs
With memories.




A Green Light Surrounds You and Me


A green light surrounds you and me,

Green radium light,

In the dark confused night.

Uncertainty, desperation and fear.


Has ever a word stuck in your mouth?


So much so that it decays your teeth,

Your mouth stinks,

Your tongue blackens,

Your throat chokes,

Saliva overflows,

Blood vomitted,

The word has caused you cancer,

You are dead.


Has ever a thought fell on your heart?


Loudly thrown,

Landslides of insecurities,

Your heart under the debris,

Struggling, pumping,

Lifeless, numbing.

The thought has squeezed life out of you,

You are dead.


The green light flickers,

You and I will go blind

Without it.





It Felt Like Ripping Off a Heart


It felt like ripping off a heart,

And there was a hole still.

The veins still tangled

And blood pumping,

Somebody defuse the

Damned emotion, please!


The lips turned blue,

Chapped maybe,

A spider crawled out

Of the half-opened mouth,

The venom is soothing.


There were scars

Purple with infection,

And flies and ants and worms

Stuck on them.

They could not move anymore,

Stuck, stuck, stuck,

Glued with the filthy blood

Of passion.


Cremate me.




Mom Hates Me


Mom hates me.

Oh, shut up!

Mom loves me

Just like a wife loves

A wench.


She wants me to

Look paler, thinner,

Swollen eyes, plump lips-

So that her brother rips

Each one of me.

So that her father

Clenches me single


So that her husband

Breaks my spine off.

So that her son

Sucks the dregs of

My filthy blood.

Mom stitched my eyes

With jute threads

And hammered me

To the pyre.




If You Stand Bare Bodied


If you stand bare bodied

And see lumps of

Hatred throbbing,

How will you scoop them out?

I'd say, let them-

Let them throb

And exist.

Paint them in red,

Blue, yellow, green.

Let them dob-dob

And let them eek-eek.

If they poison your

Whole body

And you become a

Clod of pus,

At least you'll be remembered

For how you stank!




I'm Watching You


I'm watching you,

Sipping the dregs of my brew,

Smiling, cynically.


The brew is dark,

Darker than tar.


Dregs are sweet,

Sweeter than the insoluble sugar cubes.


Your perfume makes

Me dizzier than the coffee-

My tongue is burnt

By the boiled milk

And filtered water.


I'm watching you

Smiling cynically,

As you kiss her hand,

And she looks at the

Sexy serving man!





You Built a House


You built a house

Down the lane,

Knowing, I live here.

And you called it

'The abode of love'.

Was the irony intended?

I saw her the other day,

Getting down your threshold,

Laughing, glowing

With your love.

I used to think, I would hate her,

And would conspire

And curse, and spread rumours-

But I couldn't.

She was all so lovable!


Ruining innocent, lovable women

Is your art.

Do you exhibit me often?




My Nail Paint Is Not Dried


My nail paint is not dried,

And my nails itch,

I'm coating and recoating.

You look wonderful!

With blunt pens I'm scratching

My stretch marks of adolescence.

Foolish, body, grew as it liked.

Could you get me scissors

To cut off those extra fat?

And axes to chop

Off beards.

My lips are kohled

And my feet are cold.

I'm going to wear a bikini

With my socks on!





About the poet

Ridhi Chaturvedi is a twenty-two year old student, studying M. A. in English in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She is a graduate from Seth Anandram Jaipuria College, affiliated to University of Calcutta. She has been born and brought up in Kolkata. She is a theatre enthusiast and has worked in some of the stage productions. Apart from that she loves reading and writing poems. She writes on various platforms with the pseudonym, ‘Recherche Ringlet’. Her poems have been published in the anthologies like Cologne of Heritage: The Incredible Bengal, Spring: The Season of Love, 365 Wandering Thoughts, and several more, along with some e-books like Valentine's Day Poetry Anthology 2018, Pujo e-anthology 2017, and others.

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Published by The Alternative.