Aimee Nezhukumatathil


Aimee Nezhukumatathil (1974-present) is a Filipina South Indian poet from Chicago, Illinois. She received her BA and MFA from Ohio State University and has won a Pushcart Prize and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts among other awards. She is the author of the collection Oceanic, Lucky Fish, and Miracle Fruit as well as the chapbook Lace & Pyrite and the upcoming book of illustrated nature essays World of Wonder. Source


When my father wanted to point out galaxies

or Andromeda or the Seven Sisters, I’d complain

of the huzz of mosquitoes, or of the yawning

moon-quiet in that slow, summer air. All I wanted


was to go inside into our cooled house and watch TV

or paint my nails. What does a fifteen year-old girl know

of patience? What does a girl know of the steady turn

of a telescope dial until whole moon valleys crest


into focus? Standing there in our driveway with him,

I smacked my legs, my arms, and my face so hard

while I waited for him to find whatever small pinhole

of light he wanted me to see. At night, when I washed


my face, I’d find bursts of blood and dried bodies

slapped into my skin. Complaints at breakfast about

how I’d never do it again, how I have more homework

now, Dad, how I can’t go to school with bites all over


my face anymore.                    But now I hardly ever

say no to him. He has plans to go star-gazing

with his grandson and for once I don’t protest.

He has plans. I know one day he won’t ask me,


won’t be there to show me the rings of Saturn

glow gold through the eyepiece. He won’t be there

to show me how the moons of Jupiter dance

if you catch them on a clear night. I know


one day I will look up into the night sky

searching, searching—I know mosquitoes

will have their way with me

and my father won’t hear me complain.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Memory & The Past

Literary Devices:


conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered