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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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved

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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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.


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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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.


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.

Last Day

White sun shines pale in the grey sky

Black clouds gather in mourning 

Steel water reflects on the sadness

Winds rush, whispering.

Dead leaves fall on the ground,

Shades of forgotten sunsets. 

People stand still, transfixed

Lost in their lament.

Screams echo in this deadly silence

Unheard, reverberating in these four walls.
Enclosed, thoughts sit caged in a mind

Waiting to leave behind scars.

Birds fly high, crying in pain

Blood flows in rivulets.

Death fills this ever present void 

With its magnificent presence.

In fear, people move towards each other

Breaths escaping in sighs.

Hearts beating, blood rushing.

They give in to their doom, the very end of life.


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Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved

All in my mind

How can I believe in love,

When the only thing I’ve felt deeply

Is a crippling loneliness that settles within my being.

In the empty hours, I curse my existence.

Feel the life in my white bones and red blood,

Skin that changes colour in sunlight and dark.

Closing walls and ticking clocks, a world that is spinning out of control.

Dreams where strangers make me feel

Pleasure, ecstasy, anxiety, pain.

How can I do this to myself?

Hours don’t guide me anymore, arms of the clock rushing into each other’s embrace.

Each night when I get up gasping, I clutch onto pillows

Lifeless and warm with my body heat, hug them to my trembling heart

Pale fingers, no paler than the moon that hides behind dark clouds.

Sweat and conversations seep into me,

Words entering my blood flow, my veins.

Faces that seem known, unknown 

Haunt me throughout the day.

I’ve learnt each curve of my body,

Seen my face in a thousand mirrors.

The void in my eyes never wears off

Just becomes darker like the settling night.

This deafening silence resonates within me

Until screams and sighs become one in my throat;

A bloodbath of murdered love and unspoken words.

I’ll keep my voices to me, talk to them in my head

Because it’s all in my mind

All in my mind.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.


Struggling against the confines 

Of the limitless blue skies,

Death fills and fills

This life of mine.

A string of hope;

A fine line between 

Dream, real, unreal 

Knots and tangles

In these fingers and veins of mine.

Voices inside my being roar

Louder than the thunder

That rides on clouds of end.

A void that is too empty, too full

Fills this space between my fingers and thoughts;

Clutching me from all sides,

Holding onto my life

In desperation 

To release itself

From its never ending pain.

Sighs and screams escape my throat.

Blood I spill on pages;

Blue ink dries on yellow and white,

Absorbing, like the sweat and smell

That linger on my skin.

Stares of a thousand eyes

I keep in my pocket;

Away from this crowd,

Away from this mind.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved

Twists and Miracles 

We grow up in years, in wrinkles, in greys

Gather stories with experience and time.

Yet, inside us a child lives

Breathing in moments forever gone.

Fear exhales along with sighs

Sitting caged in my heart.

Words tangled flow in my mind

Knots and knots in thoughts.

Choking on emotion, a cry escapes 

This empty throat of mine.

Each night in darkness, I pay homage

To twists and miracles of time.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.


Some days, they spell a tiredness

That stretches from bones to my being.

Dark sky spreads above me

No darker than my mind.

Moon, she looks down

Lonely, lonely, alone

Together, we contemplate life

Away from the choking crowd.


Copyright ©Devika Todi. All rights reserved.