Picture this:

It is Christmas Eve. There’s an aching in your toes
as you’re stretching upwards, moving into a hailstorm

that has only just begun. Snowflakes sit on the tip of your
freckles as you give the little church boy a hand. This is

his prime, after all. He’s rolling up gingerbread dough and
lifting paper houses for the world to see – and what does the world see?

On Main Street the postman’s done for the day, when evening arrives,
he’ll be gone. The lights stay up, they’re evergreen. You’re gulping

eggnog and tracking dirt as you trudge your battered sled up a
hill. This is exhilaration, rising up in the back of your irises and pewter

dotting your vision. You’re gripping her hand and spotting deer-tracks
where only footsteps stood before. There’s a shade of cinnamon stirred

in cocoa, and rock salt replacing shards of ice. Every avalanche is born
from a pixie’s stubby crystal and every metropolis a small town’s lament.

Anoushka Kumar (she/her) is a student and writer from India, with work forthcoming or published in The Heritage Review, The Incandescent Review, Ayaskala and elsewhere. She likes wood-panelled flooring and Phoebe Bridgers. Find her at

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