Ankita Saxena

poet, performer, workshop facilitator

Having Eaten the Plums

Mamma swings like Chaplin

on her back foot; imagines herself mighty,


illicit under lampposts, dreamer

in a leopard-printed euphoria singing black and white.


Chuckles. They tell her she’s too loud, off-beat

peeling garlic with a growing thumbnail, dropping wings


in marinade, not noticing one empty

buttonhole, two half-sliced aubergines, three, four


incisions ‘round her kidney. Maybe if she dyed her hairline,

swapped her pouch for a palette of stilletos, they’d  not.


Restabilising ex-balletic toes, she smothers her wings

and leaves them in the fridge, forgiven.




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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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