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Frozen by Bhumika Billa

Art by Madhuvanti


Tonight is fairylights, putting me to bed

for the seventh time, failing at the job

for the seventh night, I try help

drag myself out of the ice, stare

at fresh air that had promised

to hold me, let me share

my fire, the morning will become

a shopping cart, chocolate at last

will for days remind me, it is

there, inside my bag, screaming

a desperate cry, like inside me-

who’s here? someone’s here

with me, the afternoon will shrink

into green tea, smelling like stale

lemons, as abandoned as numb

as hot water in my self-love-cup

on the bedtable, probably proud

of all the battles I’ve overcome

this week, shivering evening will leave

me frozen again, like everything

eventually leaves- jalebi or chai

burning my tongue, the burns

I wouldn’t mind, I crave, until

I return home, I thank, I hug

all things trying to melt me.

About the poet:

Bhumika (she/her) is an Indian poet, Kathak dancer and legal academic based in Cambridge, UK. She has previously featured on Button Poetry, BBC Words First, Apples and Snakes, Toronto Poetry Slam and Airplane Poetry Movement. She writes on privilege, heritage, and mental health to bring together languages, art forms, and people. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter

About the artist:

My name is Madhuvanti, I'm a queer artist from Chennai. I work as a Video Designer for a digital marketing agency to pay rent, and I make art on mental health, gender, sexuality, living with my flatmate and politics to keep my heart up and about. My current hobby is breaking down and analysing Marvel movies, and trying to enjoy doing the house chores. You can find me on Instagram or my website


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