white with a hint of lavender
By Lena Singh
My fear of snow was like someone else’s fear of darkness. I now find the snow to be a good subject for metaphors which I explore in this piece.
I glanced out of the splintered net of the door my toes curled at the breeze coming through the bottom gap I had only a shawl wrapped around my now prickly shoulders the door begged for me to be merciful and close it it creaked / sweat / slammed trying to reach me but failed just like the admiration of the sun did against the need to freeze the sky was white with a hint of lavender I couldn’t tell if it was the snow that made it so or the delusion that the sky could be more than colorless the cotton balls had barely started sticking to the ground when the flakes touched my hair, my eye twitched and I was gifted a shudder snow was so lifeless when I had the eyes of an infant I was thrown into the avalanche by the weatherman and a thump of the drop of my body was heard they couldn’t see that I couldn't breathe that the snow was forcing itself into my little crevices and filling me up with more water than I needed “you shall not be afraid,” the weatherman whispered after a few years passed drowning in snow instead started to feel like little patches of sugar, so sweet to inhale rather than like tiny crystals that impaled your heart but then I was given rise by the weatherman “you’re finally ready,” the weatherman whispered the snow suddenly didn’t feel shattering, the sky wasn’t gray anymore no, it was chalky with a hint of lavender so much so that I leaned on the corner behind the door listening to the distant piano keys in my ear all for a weather so predetermined but unexpectedly ethereal and I didn’t close my eyes when I wished the weatherman would pluck my teenage body and throw me back in the white again rebirth
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
In January, Staten Island had its first full snow day, which became my inspiration for this poem. When I was little, I never enjoyed the snow. I’d go out to clean my parent’s car or take photos, but I thought it was cold and dirty. I just wanted to stay inside. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate the rain and snow. They’ve gotten more beautiful in my eyes and it’s something I can’t let go of. I like to remain in the cold. It gives me a sense of awareness over my body. It reminds me that I exist. The image of me standing in front of the door, watching the snow—where the piece begins—was real, but I created the weatherman to represent the fear of the snow I’d once had and the delusion that snow wasn’t graceful. It added to the sense of rebirth. In writing this piece, I realized that sometimes all you need is a simple, common night to spin a poem.
Lena is a junior in high school and she lives in Staten Island with her family and little dog named Oreo. In her free time, she’s either in her bed with a good fantasy novel or walking in the rain with her flip flops. A straightforward character that never backs down from an argument, she’s an introverted jalapeno that’s rare to find. Approach her if you dare.