Afterthought, by Hedy Habra
If she weren’t stilled by the painter’s gaze, cast by John William
Waterhouse in the role of Lamia kneeling in front of an unidentified
knight posing as young Lycius, she would tell him how he once lit a
candle within her that resisted melting, a magical trick or a spell, since
the flame grew even when he’d look at her sideways unknowing
what step to take, waiting for her to take the reins as at a crossroads.
He didn’t love her, he said, but when alone in the coupé, weren’t his
knees shaking, shaking the seat, shaking her heart? Weren’t his lips
thinking this is not happening, while her lips tasted their unraveled
silkiness? And was he responsible for the spurned flame that still
burns on an invisible wick, stretches and shrinks in a ritual dance? Was
he ever aware that under her eyelids a shadow show lit keeps
growing stronger day by day?
This poem was first published by Danse Macabre and in Hedy's book, Under Brushstrokes (Press 53 2015).
Hedy Habra is a poet, artist and essayist. She is the author of three poetry collections from Press 53, most recently, The Taste of the Earth (2019), Winner of the Silver Nautilus Book Award and Honorable Mention for the Eric Hoffer Book Award; Tea in Heliopolis Winner of the Best Book Award and Under Brushstrokes, which was a Finalist for the Best Book Award and the International Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was Finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. A seventeen-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the net, and recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Award, her multilingual work appears in numerous journals and anthologies. https://www.hedyhabra.com/
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