Like Winter

A Piece of Writing
Shameelah Khan

Why am I so sure
that my arms will never touch
the emptiness of the trees
nibbling at false childhood dreams,
in between
the snow falls
the dark-ness
the ice that constructs
Why am I so sure
That when I loved
even in the end
Winter never left?

This story is not a story. Nor is it a poem. This is like or as winter and if it doesn’t leave you cold. Read it again. I am alone on this wooden bench. I don’t know if this bench is really real. No one can tell.

The smells of falling leaves are nearby and I can describe its poetry to you well. It smells like the rain that has rusted, it never touches the ground, it freezes just a solidified second before. And then the soil calls out to it, it prays to it every day. Please touch me. Just touch me so that I may grow. But the rain has lost its ability to move. It can only tell the ground to wait. Wait for me just a little bit longer until winter is over.

There is a person walking nearby. I think. He is a man. He is dressed in black. His name is Existence and he speaks without the use of his tongue. He sits down beside me. His hands touch his knees. He is tired from breathing empty breaths that are sometimes wasted. He takes his heart out of his chest and he gestures for me to touch it as I please. I can’t touch what is not mine I hope that he understands.

He tells me to look. I gaze into the veins and they whisper mannerisms of metaphors like or as a gentleman. His heart is still beating and blood touches the white snow where our feet rest on. The arteries have hidden stories in them. I read it only through its silences. I read that he doesn’t know where he is. He doesn’t know his own loneliness. He forgets to feed his soul sometimes. He forgets to listen to the prayers of the earth. He thinks that this is why he is here with me.

But I don’t know if I should tell him just yet. This place is not for everybody and he has to learn that now. I watch him as he puts his heart back in to his chest. I wonder what it feels like when a heart returns to a state of being trapped. His eyes ask me where he is. He said he doesn’t know if he will ever get back. My ears tell him to listen to the rustling of the leaves as it is directed by the wind. He asks me what happened when I spoke to my heart when I held it in my hands.

It. I said. It told me that I would never feel loved again. It said that I neglected it, after my mother had left. It said that I would never let a man touch it until she returns. And every day, a prayer is unheard because no man ever will.

The chills of the frigid wind leaps up and bites at our skin. But its warmth reminds us that being broken in this place is something that comes to its end. The cold is so cold that when it passes over my skin, it rips open my soul. It burns. The cold can make you yearn for something that isn’t real. Go to her I tell him. You still have time. This place will keep you here if you don’t remind yourself to leave it. But how can I love a place that by nature hurts my mind?

The real question I have learnt is how can nature learn to love itself and continuously look at that love as blind?

Then I hear a door creak. He is calling me back. I’m sorry I have to go I tell this stranger. Stay just a little bit longer please he says. I don’t know where to go. I look up and I see that the sky is changing, and some light carves its way in. Everything begins to bow down except the two of us. This is a submission our language has raped and sold. We watch it, judging everything that it calls a point. Then the stranger speaks again and asks me what happens to a soul that remains in this place. I tell him to remember what happens to a world that never leaves winter’s trace?

The door is open now. I say something that is possibly a goodbye. Will I ever see you again? He asks. I walk away but my departure stays behind. It sticks to him like a letter and he reads:

You will see me when you see her.
and be sure
that even in the end
you will ask yourself
why is it
that the woman with no heart
Never really left?


For More by Shameelah, visit her blog







Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.