Or Weren’t We Always Told To Remove Our Makeup at Night?
On certain evenings when the sun turns ebony, my heart becomes an obsidian pendant hanging between my breasts, conjuring old lovers’ touch, my newborn’s avid lips. I can then freely perform, peeling off face after face the masks that haunted me all my life, each dangling from a strand of my greying hair, caught within a self-woven web of conflicting feelings brimming with sap and dew. I become a puppeteer pulling threads of time, braiding throbbing heartbeats with the stillness of empty silences. That’s when I realize how much care was taken in recreating myself as though with stage makeup. Or else how could I have coped with the different roles allotted to me at every crossroad, each gilded with a false sense of free will?
This poem was first published by MockingHeart Review.
Or How Could We Ever Be Able to Resist Such Likeness?
Now we look like a stencil copy as though divided via parthenogenesis or were aphids avid to reproduce ourselves we no longer face each other yet strum in unison the chords of our ukulele stretch our legs sideways in the same comforting position as though we’d lived together for so long we’d slide under each other’s skin can’t get over that older man who told the younger me that touching one’s spouse was the same as touching oneself and yet what’s more magical than touching another skin and now that we are finally together on that wooden raft about to sail as though seated within a dream daydreaming of sailing on yet another boat on each side of that cerulean horizon as though a fragile skiff was hovering awaiting to colour our reel and carry us away I wonder why the need for illusions if we know the emptiness of words we might as well have concocted our stories time after time yet still stumble over the same shadow unlike animals who never fall twice into the same trap our dulled senses might not be able to resist such likeness our hair flowing in the breeze in feathery brushstrokes I feel that you are my mirror image and no longer like what I see.
The poem was first published by Peacock Journal.
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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