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  • Robert L. Giron

Issue 54 — Hedy Habra

Hedy Habra

Mobilis in Mobili

Watch how some people seem to be taking notes, but if we look

closely, their pens race over the page, tracing cuneiform characters,

arabesques, spirals intertwined in wildest vines, mysterious glyphs,

oftentimes starting with a square or a circle they will randomly fill

with parallel lines or curves, until the figure grows into a

Rorschach stain in which they discover the extent—or limits—of

their talent. And now that words refuse to follow the rows

assigned to them, demand a life of their own, I find myself

scribbling in concentric circles as if I were an insect lost inside a

rosebud whirling like a dervish caught in a jinn’s bottle until a

flower emerges from the wraps and folds of his flying gown, his

bent head a dark pistil deep inside a convolvulus and does it matter

if it is not an arum or a delphinium?

I add more petals opening their wings, then a stem growing into a

stalk, but it is closer to a bird standing on one foot, a cormorant,

maybe, or a seagull, and with a few more feathers an Aztec

headdress begs for a face, but I need not decide if it will wear a

jaguar mask or bear a shield, I will fill empty spaces, erase borders,

remapping my colonized realm until a boat emerges calling for a

prow, a triangle for a mast, its sails ready to swell, billowing with

the whim of the winds and a slight twist of the pen, almost floating

on the tip of the white foam breaking into droplets over the

glistening ship as if stopped in motion, a mobilis in mobili, until I

can feel the mist over my face and around me the pull of the waves

reaching me inside the captain’s cabin where I am all alone bent

over folds of maps, feeling the drift of the current guiding my pen

as it slides along the mahogany desk, dragging me down over the

wavering wooden floor.

Copyright © 2012 by Hedy Habra. Previously published by Poet Lore, 2005.

Goutte à goutte

Des gouttes de sueur froide ruissellent sur mes tempes: parois d’une grotte souterraine, l’air me manque, mon cœur tourbillonne, croît en spirale, se pétrifie en coquillage scellé autour de la lumière bleue d’un cénote maya empli de l’écho muet des soupirs de vierges immolées: mes rêves s’y noient autour des cendres de mes souvenirs, les yeux secs, je sens le sel de larmes ravalées s’écouler en un éternel goutte à goutte, s’infiltrer à travers les fissures nacrées: les valves éclatent en une lame de fond qui me projette hors de moi sur les dunes couvertes d’écume.

Copyright © 2012 by Hedy Habra.


Voy a construir una ventana en medio

de la calle para no sentirme solo.—Miguel Ángel Zapata

The poet would like to build a window in the middle of the street so that he wouldn’t feel lonely. I also want to build a window in the middle of the street, plant a jacaranda and wake up at the trills of the songbirds nested in its branches. I will drink my morning coffee seated on the ground carpeted with the purple petals of my youth and every night, feel its foliage tremble under the far away breeze that blows in Beirut along the cornice, bringing a mist of fragrant memories through half-open shutters.

Night is woven with the flutter of wings.

Copyright © 2012 by Hedy Habra.


Sin ruido, las olas invaden el piso, las algas tiñen las cortinas de su verdigris insidioso y ella, imperturbable, se mira de reojo al espejo mientras se desabrocha el vestido negro de gala, un espejo que permanece vacío como lo fuera su vida. De espaldas, sentado en el sofá, él se hunde en su indiferencia en el oleaje y seguramente es su cara la que se ve reflejada en el retrato colgado en la pared, un rostro absorto, apenas visible detrás del periódico abierto. Las aguas crecen al compás de las notas que resuenan desde la ventana de enfrente. Allí un hombre de peluca blanca toca el piano como si fuera Mozart componiendo su Réquiem. El pintor sube inexorablemente el nivel del agua y la mujer sabe que ni siquiera en este último instante se podrá desahogar si no tan sólo al ahogarse en la creciente que los envuelve sigilosamente.

Copyright © 2012 by Hedy Habra.

Frente a frente

Con los ojos cerrados, me miro al espejo de mi desconsuelo, y me veo como una paloma que revolotea en cámara lenta mientras camino por las dunas desiertas y me pregunto donde fue que vi por última vez las escasas palmeras todavía erguidas al lado de las tiendas sumergidas donde todos los que alguna vez amé están ahora sepultados. Busco las cenizas amortajadas en la arena, y sólo percibo a través de párpados entreabiertos, plumas del mismo color que mi pelo, ojos sin párpados que fijan su reflejo sin espejo, labios apretados en un silencio triangular y ah, sí, cómo poder omitir estos matices azulados que nos unen, mujer y ave, en el amor y en la pérdida.

Copyright © 2012 by Hedy Habra.


Hedy Habra received her MFA and a PhD in Spanish Literature from Western Michigan University where she currently teaches. Her poetry and fiction in French, Spanish and English appear in many journals including Parting Gifts, California Quarterly, Letras Femeninas, Rockhurst Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Smoking Poet, Puerto del Sol, The New York Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Cutthroat, and Poet Lore as well as in anthologies such as Inclined to Speak, Come Together: Imagine Peace, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, and Dinarzad’s Children.

Shis is the author of the collection of short stories Flying Carpets (March Street Press) and a scholarly book titled Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa (Iberoamericana/Vervuert). Her book of poetry Tea in Heliopolis is forthcoming from Press 53.

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