Ankita Saxena

poet, performer, workshop facilitator

Your Darling is a Cuttlefish

Image by Scott Portelli, winner of the National Award in the Australia category at the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards.

You have never seen her dance.

Browner than black and white, she is sepia.


Through oceans music cannot hold, she spreads

like splintered glass. Currents from camouflage.


Uncaring. Colourblind. Folds burning fluorescent

from squid skin. She is electric.


In deep sea she can ward off sharks. Still her volts.

Flatten herself to silhouette and yet breathe.


It could be you that makes her freeze. You, the shark.

You, who has never seen your darling dance.

2 responses to “Your Darling is a Cuttlefish”

  1. I do like this poem. It’s full of movement and a sort of watery joy and a nice twist in the tail.


    1. Thank you very much!

      Liked by 1 person

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About Ankita

Ankita Saxena is the author of Mother | Line, which released in April 2023, with Verve Poetry Press. She read English Literature at Jesus College, Oxford (2014-2017), where she was Head of Events at Oxford University Poetry Society, and President of the Turl Street Arts Festival. She has been commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award three times. She is a Barbican Young Poet alumnus, part of the Octavia Poetry Collective, and one half of the ORIGINS Poetry Duo. Her poetry is published in Wasafiri, Modern Poetry in Translation and Bath Magg. She has performed widely across the UK, including live at Hammersmith Appollo, with The Guilty Feminist.

By day, she works at Social Finance, a not-for-profit social enterprise, helping to tackle complex and enduring issues in society and create lasting and widespread change.

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