Anuradha Vijayakrishnan


Anuradha Vijayakrishnan was born in Cochin, India. She completed a B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Calicut University, Kerala and a post graduation in Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur. She writes fiction and poetry while pursuing a full time corporate career. In 2007, the unpublished manuscript of her first novel, Seeing the girl, was long listed for the 2007 Man Asian Literary Prize. Her work has appeared or is due to appear in Eclectica, Bare Root Review, Nth Position, Orbis, Desilit, Aesthetica, The Pedestal Magazine, The King’s English, Every Day Poets, Stony Thursday Anthology, Poetry Chain, Indian Literature, Muse India , Asia Literary Review and Magma.





In her hands they are like dust. Or sun-dried

blood, fine-polished. Glittering, unlike

her eyes that slept through the day and through

the caveman nights that came snaking

out of their den and shed their skin

on hers; on hers, for god’s sake.


With her hands, she unravels them on her

skin; that skin scrubbed twice and raw. The beads

drizzle over, touching off cold sparks, tiny

nerve spots that meet and combust. So there is

life yet, and there is something that lives. Rubies

beneath the damaged soil, secret black emeralds

that laugh at the night, laugh at the scarred day.


On her hands she makes red markings. One cross

for every spent force, one knot for each thing

that was taken. She moves those hands in clenched

circles – willing them to cleanse

and be cleaned.


The beads find their way to her feet. Sunspots fall

into her eyes and she turns them into tears.



Who dances?


When I dance, I am like a rustic. Oily-haired

and round armed. I flap my head and grin

at invisible birds. I rise and fall in the garden

sand, laugh out loud when the rhythm

beats my feet.


So this music suits; this wooden bench

on which I can dance suits too. I can clank

my rings, my beaded chains here. Can imagine

wood drums, swing my bountiful hips, go one-two

with my heels, my shoulders, my chin.

Snake-dance, peacock-dance; dance even

like a happy calf with new milk sloshing

in my mouth. Kick my donkey heels

as if they can’t break.


And then, the neighbours fall off, their pet dogs

and their studio kitchens fall

off. My cellphone shatters against the wall, and the internet

dissolves into unreality. Beetles and moths

gather in the corners to watch.


Green plants in window boxes shiver

at the feet, of this goddess

who dances, like a rustic.