Suchana Seth

Smoke and Mirrors





cool summer rain

sunlight through the blinds

breathe in the magnolias

before they go



wind on the lake

shadows of clouds

breathe in the dust

dancing in the sun



yellowed books

the waiting years

breathe on the dragonflies

almost stilled



hot summer night

remembered pain

breathe in the water

before you go




Smoke and mirrors

I walk upon mirrors –

No broken glass underfoot for me,

Nor shards of fractured self.

I step past my visions.

My shadow contains multitudes.


I carry smoke in my palm –

No anguished flame for me to guard,

Nor benediction jealously hoarded.

I move beyond my gifts.

My light brings plenitude.




Explaining to the tattoo artist what I want

We look for an analogue

Of the slow burn in us –

In our expendable flesh, 

In our moon-driven blood. 


We look for absolution

For the lust in our eyes – 

In our expendable flesh, 

In the throb of our heart. 


We look for an anchor

For our drifting needs – 

In our expendable flesh, 

On our ink-sodden skin.




Walk Away 

recall the sunlight –

a bend in the river, 

molten gold

across the road. 


recall the green – 

old trees

on high rocks, 

whispering leaves. 


recall the blue –

new day,

the hard clear sky, 

dazzled eyes. 


recall the air –


cedar scented, 

freeing your heart. 


recall the grey –


hawks circling

high in the sky. 


recall the song –


breath on your lips,



recall the walk –

cold mist, 

pine needles on the path,

choosing not to return.




A light from other days

something is broken

here in the city

something lost

a spirit

a thought

a light from the days

that are yet to come

or so it seems

to those

who linger

past their age

and dream

in the shadows

the city hoards

like ghosts

of trees felled

to make room

for crowds

and streets

and the noise

of the rootless many

who know not

what they lack

or why they seek

something lost

a spirit

a thought

a light from other days

Suchana Seth is a physicist-turned-data-scientist, compulsive reader, slow traveler, and photographer of empty chairs. Her day job is to prevent data dystopias. At night, she writes speculative fiction and poetry. Her writing has appeared in Litro Magazine and The Coffeelicious.

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