Frostbreak, Heartbite

By Kinan Aldaioub
Illustration by Noor Lorist

The woman in winter
As if she did not feel the cold
And the cold did not feel her

Do you know that feeling?
When even the wind is afraid to come out
In fear of the nipping cold
When even the sun is silent, as if meditating above
When the clouds are painted still
And no flight nor song of a bird can you live
And as if your heart took a pause
To try to find a sound to touch
But you found only stillness
This error that is peace, which nothing can explain
Like going to sleep
Like the time lost in a kiss
Where does it go?
The volume of nature has been muted
And for the next three months
The only warmth is the smiles of strangers
Cycling in these frost-glazed bike-paths
The Earth has taken a breath and held it
And won’t exhale till come spring
Meanwhile when we breathe
Our own warmth travels ahead of us
A fog that speaks to us and says; “it’s cold”
For now, the sun is a sin
And as Emily Dickinson’s “forever is composed of nows”
This now seems to be composed of forever
Until one March morning it seems warmer than usual
But happiness is the only now, the only forever
Couple it with Christmas, and with holidays
And no cold you will ever feel

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