ON THIS SIDE OF CHRISTMAS By Zaynab Quadri

ON THIS SIDE OF CHRISTMAS

on that side of christmas,
december’s twinkling lights and powdery snow,
she wrapped perfect gifts with trembling fingers
for a man who only liked the lights
he knocked out of her.
red like bitten kisses, leaking veins,
green like the gleam in his eye
when his hand finds her throat.
her festive scarf does not make a fashion statement.
it whispers consolation to her tender skin,
lies brightly to the world.

christmas dinner:
smashed plate smashed door smashed lovesmashedheart.
and then the christmas miracle:
get out, get out,
i’m done.
i. am. done.

on this side of christmas,
she’s living on my couch,
drinking a lot of hot chocolate
taking a lot of aimless walks,
wandering in circles til she finds her way.
the snow is steely gray slush
freezing through her socks
and no one bothers with lights anymore,
waiting on spring to bring the sun back

but she’s got twinkling lights between her ribs,
evergreen in her lungs.
the dead of winter,
and her seedlings pop up
from the rock-hard ground,
sniffing for sustenance.

it’s new year,
a beginning.
not goodbye–
hello.

By Zaynab Quadri

Biography:

Zaynab Quadri is a 22-year-old Northwestern graduate from the Chicagoland area who scribbles poems in a blue notebook during commutes to and from downtown. She enjoys Christmas lights, hot chocolate, and existential crises set to the dulcet tones of One Direction. (Zayn is still her favorite.) This bio took her far too long to write, because publishing for an audience wider than her Tumblr followers is a brand new adventure. She thanks you sincerely for your time.

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