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The Pen of Cold

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

A guest contribution by Natalia Armenia.

As I reach my morning hand

to the other side of bed

I realize only then

that winter is making His way.

The gloomy stinging breeze

that dares to disturb the peace

makes this place only His,

the owner, the chief,

and for the next few weeks

He will be my lonely king.

Brushed by the pen of cold,

my skin turns pale

as if I’d just seen a ghost,

but here we meet again

under one more November rain,

you want to turn things into pain.

When you are here,

that means I’m not,

or in truth,

I’m here more than ever.

Trapped inside the walls of His house,

winter does not want to set me free.

Wrapped inside the blanket of self-doubt,

sometimes my face remembers to breathe

and sees the light for the first time in years.

Is the real world still out there?

Am I still inside this corpse?

Sometimes it’s not even cold outside

but it’s frozen in your heart.

You forget what heat feels like

you’ll sleep it off until it’s done.


As the drunkard at the local

bar dying to die some more

I’m briefly out of the world

My solitary soul is

dismayed when you choose

to see hope in the morning



As a sign not to give up

under the winter sun

that’s still not warm enough nor bright enough

for me to


to let you know

that the world still spins

even if you are not in it

Numbness can be seen

in the paleness of your walls and

the wearying of your skin and

the quick temper of your soul

When was the last time

you did something just for fun?

How can other creatures still

pant when the hint of snow

is all it takes for me to be


And to be nailed down to bed I pray to my angels

and my demons

with no faith

for yet another day

and for a second fur

Nature is taking a break

the earth has gone to sleep

and so have I

until I’m reminded of the outer

doors with the first songs of spring.


Natalia Armenia is a French-Peruvian writer based in Paris. Her work has appeared in French and Latin American magazines. She holds two BA in literature and languages (Montpellier - Barcelona) and a MFA in literature and creative writing (Montpellier - Cape Town). She is currently writing a travel book that blends fiction, prose and non-fiction. She founded LePhareCollectif, a writer's collective based in Paris, where she teaches writing workshops in three languages.

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