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Content Warning: mental illness, suicidal ideation

Letitia Jiju – Letters to Ram: Dreaming in Chitrakut


Dawn  cracks

            on the bowl  of a dream.

And I,  a  hooting

            Amāvásyā.  Plumed  by

my very lacking.

Preened  by the runny
            yolk of  day

as you peel back
     the sleep-skin off me.


            I have so much to tell you.



My Devi, you say and chuckle
            at my drool.

I stuff a rose in your mouth
            and   splice you   back  to me
                                                     leg   and  leg

                                                                                    lumbering    into that bowl.

What I don’t tell you:

On night’s cool sleeve,

I wipe my lusts.

I twist them back

in furrows of black hunger —

Each woman becomes
     my sowing.  My emptiness tilled.

Each woman,  a neurotic eye
            that won’t shut   as I go
into the blazing white  of suicides.

Your darling still,


Letters to Ram is a series of epistolary poems retelling the story of Sita, considering she speaks very little in the Ramayana. "Dreaming in Chitrakut" is my second offering in the series and a fictitious account of a day in the life of Sita, who is in exile with Ram, where she has a dream foreshadowing the agni pariksha (trial by fire) she would soon endure. The poem seeks to rework Sita as a woman navigating young love, the dichotomy of her husband as both god and man, while also exploring potential trauma/neurosis.

Best viewed on desktop, please also find a PDF file available to download here.

Letitia Jiju is from Kerala, India. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in Moist Poetry Journal, Indian Ruminations and Emirates Literature Festival. She was the second runner-up at the 2018 Taleem Awards. You can find her on Twitter/Instagram at @eaturlettuce.

Cover Artwork: Mothscape by Helen Gwyn Jones

Helen Gwyn Jones started recording her world at the age of 8 when she bought a Brownie camera from her sister, something which has become a lifelong passion.  A collector of the past (hers and other people’s) she likes nothing better than muted images of imperfection.  May be found poring over Welsh grammar books when not photographing drains or going into raptures over rust. Publications include, Hungry Ghost Project, Free Flash Fiction, Acropolis Journal,  Paddler Press, Pareidolia Literary, Blink Ink, Hecate, Moss Puppy, The Levatio, Camas, Storyteller’s Refrain, Full House Literary, Subliminal. Twitter / Instagram @helengwynjones

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