Or Weren’t We Always Told To Remove Our Makeup at Night?
.After She Had Many Faces by Juanita Guccione
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?
Or Didn’t She Tell You She’s Been a Mother For Too Long?
.After Celestial Pablum by Remedios Varo
And now with her children on their own, she plans their visits ahead rehearsing their favorite seafood dishes and entrées. She would set the table with candlelight, displaying the amethyst, turquoise and moonstone grapes her husband once brought back from China. She remembers how she always prepared their baby food from scratch and misses nurturing them. To ensure the passing of time, she dreams of catching the waning crescent with a butterfly’s net. She’d spoon feed its weakened light with a concoction spiked with crushed stars. Yes, she was an expert grinder, skilled in everything meant to please the palate.
Or Isn’t There So Much More to it Than Meets the Eye
when age-old recipes become richer with new spices and sleights of hand? Think of them as translations deafening the original song but richer in experience, opening infinite doors to the senses. My mother started her recipe books in Heliopolis when she was fourteen. For decades, she’d write in French with a pen dipped in black ink, adding red Gothic script for titles. At the bottom of each page, a drawing made the dish more enticing than any photograph. When she died, my sister handed me these archeological findings in which there was oftentimes no modus operandi and measures had to be interpreted.
Or What If She Imagined He Loved Her Just That Once?
In a dream within a dream, what if she’d slip
…….into a dark pool, cross the mirror
of her own pleasure,
…….explore herself from within,
…………..dive undressed in its depth next
to a body she could not forget?
What if she imagined it all just that once,
…………..in silken webs spun by their lips,
a touch that splits minutes
…………..when he slid between her thighs
as naturally as a handshake?
Ready to throw themselves into the waterfall,
…….they held on to each other, in search for a center.
What if each would become a part of a whole
…….and she’d say, you have touched my soul,
…………..and meant it though she didn’t have a clue
as to what a soul was, just sensed
…….the tip of an invisible blue flame
burning along her spine as his skin
…….unraveled under her fingertips?
What if she had found the key to the door
…….opening dams in this dream
…………..within a dream?
Some say nothing is real without words
…….to give it flesh
…….and yet he never uttered a word
and neither did she, since it was what it was.
Hedy Habra has authored two poetry collections, Under Brushstrokes, finalist for the USA Best Book Award and the International Poetry Book Award, and Tea in Heliopolis, winner of the USA Best Book Award and finalist for the International Poetry Book Award. Her story collection, Flying Carpets, won the Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention and was finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. An eight-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, her work appears in Cimarron Review, The Bitter Oleander, Blue Fifth Review, Cider Press Review, Drunken Boat, Gargoyle, Nimrod, Poet Lore, World Literature Today and Verse Daily. Her website is hedyhabra.com