PF detail from Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Beach Scene, Guernsey (Children by the Sea in Guernsey) - 1883;


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Born in India, Lalita Noronha has a Ph.D. in Microbiology and is a science teacher, writer, poet, and fiction editor for The Baltimore Review. Published in over seventy literary journals and anthologies, her awards include the Maryland Literary Arts Award twice, Maryland Individual Artist Award, and the National League of American Pen Women Award, among others. Often featured on National Public Radio, she is the author of a short story collection, “Where Monsoons Cry.” Her website is

From Bombay to Baltimore: Thirty years later | Phony Lines


From Bombay to Baltimore: Thirty years later

The Arabian Sea still flecks with fishing boats
like paper toys my father taught me to fold
and float in streams behind our home.

My plane, a silver scythe knows no ache,
splices clouds in half like cotton scarves,
shreds and tosses wispy threads afar.

Dim one-bulb huts recede, pinpoints of fire flies,
five-star hotels shrink to match-box size,
coconut fronds to dainty fans.

This time, my heart, quiet and stilled,
leaves behind a billion people, maybe more,
who say their destinies are written on their foreheads.

And still I search between continents,
between sky and sky,
between then and now

for home.


Phony Lines

It’s in your breath, strung along the phone lines, a little drawn out, warmer.
Sometimes, a sudden laugh at strange words I still use— the boot of my car,
serviettes I’ll restock,  masala kheema and ek dozen unda.

I wait for a teasing line, a quick, funny retort, the start of back and forth repartee.
I forget that we’re winding down the clock, burning down the house.
It shouldn’t take so long.

You suck in your breath, squeeze your heart, stuff the words you might have said
back into your mouth. “Take care; I’ll talk to you soon,” you say,
your voice a million miles beyond the moon.