Hedy Habra

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/


Sometimes I think my face is a map,
each line a faint record of hidden scars,
of what I’ve seen or felt. My skin retains
traces of every fleeting breeze, of drifting
snowflakes, remembers the warmth
of noonday sun, the salty trickle of sorrow
mixed with raindrops, and even the slightest
shiver, the music of light melting down my cheeks.

An imprint remains of the faces
whose gaze lingered over my face
with fingers on the tip of their words,
or outlined my features with fingers
weighed down with words. I often see
that other face beneath the one looking
at me in the mirror, swelling with recollections,
unraveling all my senses.

First published by Cimarron Review
From The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019)

Sounds in the Attic

Fluttering wings wrapped in shimmering muslin veils dance
around the broken planks, a gaping wound in the hardwood
floor littered with scattered down, love letters flying away
from torn photographs. A whisper breaks the rhythm of the
footbeats: a tree is unearthed, its roots bleed, veins sapping
roots of my heart, throbbing as a frightened sparrow held
tightly in a palm. Hungry moon, do not lure me into your 
maddened circle. Don’t you see that hole in my chest no 
longer keeps a beat?

First published by Cider Press Review
From Under Brushstrokes (Press 53 2015)


      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 won’t feel lonely. I also want to build a window
in the middle of the street, plant a jacaranda and then 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 faraway breeze that blows in Beirut along the
Corniche, bringing a mist of fragrant echoes through half-open
shutters. Night is woven with the flutter of wings.

Windblown words travel
through thought’s countless corridors
turn daydreams ablaze

First published by ArtLijo 54: Arlington Literary Journal
From The Taste of the Earth (Press 32 2019)

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