Winter by Vishwa Asokan


Art by Rufino Tamayo

Winter. What's winter for us?

People with existence covered only by the side of hips and slide of saree pallu, the red of my bindi darker than marks across thighs, yes some of them like it rough. Women like me do not have winters in our houses, we have winters lodged in the underside of our vulvas, numbness

dripping down not in the change of one season to another but from one man to another.

Devi sleeps peacefully next to my makeshift bed, her sunken stomach grazing the floor, hair spread across the sheet and I crouch down to her and slowly hold her to me, the mother the only part that's warm, and I let the warmth pour onto her, trying precariously to sieve the grief from love.

My daughter and I, we share our grief in the number of half torn sarees I stitch into skirts for her, at least the skirts the men won't try to pry open, will they? And her, in the half sewn hopes she wears around her neck and takes it off and gives me when I need it, on cold winter nights like these.

Winter, for women like me, is not the numbing at the end of fingers, or the chapped lips, but the cold that never leaves. The only warmth, is the leftover love.


About the poet:

Vishwa is a 19 year old from Kerala. She started devouring literature from a long time back and realised poetry could be an important tool to change how we perceive things. You can find her by the side of forgotten books and old people, seeking stories every moment. She runs a newsletter at https://tinyletter.com/LettersOfVishwa , and her Instagram handle is @dat1percent