Nina Sudhakar – Self-Portrait as Cathedral

Nina Sudhakar

Self-Portrait as Cathedral

I am hallowed ground. Sometimes I feel
I have been shaped by the hands laid on me:

fingers conjuring the specter of beauty from
swirling vapors. The sculptor coaxing the body

from hard marble. Existence following notice;
existence following admiration. Existing after

existence. Hands tracing stippled flanks, the lone
birthmark anchoring thumb to hand. A nose that

indicates provenance. Skin grown thick from pressure,
every knot tied by a blunt instrument. For so long,

fighting against this form of protection. The choir of scars
reaching its refrain in summer: full-faced, reckless in

bare air. Shoulder-blades slicing wind currents, buttressing
carried burdens. A wingspan you could coast on for miles.

Showers like holy water, hands like a blessing. The hymn
of praise lilting in the background, enough to sustain

blind faith. I love your body, he said, and I think
he meant it. I like to think they all meant it.


Nina Sudhakar is a writer and lawyer currently based in Indianapolis. Her poems have appeared in TRACK//FOUR and Rising Phoenix Review; for more, please see


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