Did I ask for it? 

I’ll cut on paper edges

And bleed, bleed, bleed

Blue ink that flows in my veins

Thoughts that intimate my mind. 

Nails and scratches that run on my skin

Voices sink in my throat

A million stares on my bare legs

A million on my covered chest

They picture me 

My thighs spread, mouth open

Whimpers and moans of names escaping my throat.

Dirty, my untouched skin feels

Under the shower, I scrub and scrub

Wash the awareness of looks

That lingered for seconds more than two.

Knives and scars under my skin

Fingers probing flesh, discovering 

Dreams that make me sigh and lift my hips

Strangers with perfect bodies and tanned skin.

Sun on my hair, knotted twice

Tendrils on my sweaty neck

Exposed to the kisses 

Of strangers that tower in buses

Ghosting lips and whispered words.

Lewd comments that my mind deciphers

A minute too late as I feel 

Threatened in a public place.

Pale skin, my doom

Shine in the sea of brown

Unwanted attention shifts

To my collar bones and skinny arms.

Pink lips, my curse

I bite on them ever so often

Feel the want of men as they look

With a thirst that makes me awkward.

Did I ask for this, I wonder

Waiting for the mirror to answer

Eyes on my eyes on my eyes

A bitter truth, bitter lie.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.

Touch of words

Words ignite a passion in me

Flames that rise in my blood 

Licking my neck, biting my lips

Kissing me senseless, bruising me.

Light falls on my skin

Pale, pale, pink

Eyes look at cream walls

Unlooking at reality for a bit.

I’m lost in my mind

Senses awakened as words whisper,

Touches and looks and fingers

Linger just beneath my skin;

Ghosting across my limbs.

False, false these sensations are

Yet, I drown in their pleasure.

For my lovers are my words;

Touch of a thousand strangers.


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Cigarette, love and sex

Throaty voices singing words and feelings 

Alien to my barren cold soul.

Midnight time running, running

Exhausting on sleep of double billion people 

And animals less saner, wilder.

A lighter burns blue on fluid

Reminding me of warmth of a fire

That burned three winters ago.

What happens to feelings?

How can they take steps away from

People and places and memories 

Into a cold far away space.

Cigarettes exhale smoke,

Ashes on skin kissed and bruised.

Guitars strumming down the street

As windows open and breathe.

Sex in the air, void in eyes

That look, pale and light

Away from walls of fate and faith

Into the dark ceiling, hoping it would share its secrets 

With those bored beings

Of life and existence.


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Fear sits, beating in my heart

To the rhythm of my broken breaths.

Pain fills these lungs of mine

As I drag smoke from death.

Thoughts clog my empty mind

Pushing, pulling, suffocating.

Fingers trace limbs and junctures 

Of a body that doesn’t feel mine.

Cold knives cuts on my skin

I bleed a blood no one sees.

Yes, each morning sun touches my skin

But at night, it is the kiss of darkness


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Day after day, I spend 

Hours in the confines of

Four walls, this room, this mind.

Real feels like a world 
Far-spaced and removed from mine.

People and places and memories 

Feel borrowed from else’s story.

Now, all that I know is

The touch of my fingers 

The look in my eyes

The curve of my cheek

My half-broken empty sighs.


Through the medium of these photos, I’m trying to portray that each feature of our face has a different story to tell. 

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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.

Keep walking 

People always talk in loud words

Loud voices booming off the four walls.

Silence steals syllables from my tongue,

Resonating within my being.

Skin that covers this flesh and bone

Hold scars that knives have left

In dreams that I see in the darknest nights.

I drown in a puddle of my tears

As voices whisper in my ears,

White light blinds my vision

Pushing me into the arms of dark.

Eyes closed, I see

I’m lost in remembrance of a sky 

That hides from me each night. 

Blood runs cold in my veins

Each time I think of

Tomorrow, day after, day after

What’ll happen next, and how?

Each time I breathe I feel within me

The weight of a thousand rocks

That press together on my chest

Making me sink lower, lower.

In moments of deepest grief

I remember you 

The smell that lingers on your clothes 

Memories that play in my mind.

Places hold onto ghosts of that time

Which is never coming back, never.

Moving on, how does one do that?

Zoom ahead by 15 years, only to realise

You’re reliving times when you were 15.

I try to understand world and its ways

A fineline that separates 

Fiction from real

People from thoughts 

Pain from life.

I’ll go on walking 

With a smile frozen on my lips,

A song stuck in my mind

Which plays in forever loops

Singing words to me

That seem like mine.


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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved

Lost love

I’ll hide behind the cover of my words

For a touch, a smile, a glimpse, a glance

Are too much for my brittle skin

As I break every single day

In remembrance of something that was never mine

Something that felt so right. 

Life is funny that way,

One day, he’s here

The next, gone with the wind.

I cling onto places and moments 

Chase ghosts of memories.

Wishing you were here

Wishing you were with me.

But I can see from afar,

Checking your social media

You’ve moved on in a thousand directions 

While I sit here plotting ways

Of bumping into you

As you meet your family or friends or lovers or this world.

I daydream of scenarios that never will be

Almost feel your touch in dreams

And I touch myself thinking of you, almost.

Sometimes I lament a loss of love that never was

I wonder how real loss of love feels.

A world talks endlessly 

Of love that transcends all

Poets and artists caught in passions

Have written sonnets and painted storms.

In 19 years of my lifetime, 

All the love I’ve had in my life

Is from female companions, 

And mind you, not the kind I want.

There is energy pent up in me

With no release whatsoever 

Someday I’ll explode,

Not the kind you’d want to see. 

Until this ship is made to sail,

She’ll sigh and remember her lost love

For seas on which she rests

But never gets to travel.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved