Or Have You Ever Noticed Erasure Patterns Within Fractals?
After Generations Lost by Helen Zughaib
Scattered on a multi-faceted quilted pond, women’s faces emerge, each as though from the center of a lotus about to drown before sunset. Eyes lined with kohl look alike. Their unanswered quest blurs the lines on the receding oval faces. In midst of that fractal fragmentation some hands stand out holding a blank sheet of paper, or were they once photographs of loved ones, so old the image was erased by indifference as life goes by with its dismembered seasons mixed pell-mell with gouache on that canvas like in a kaleidoscope constantly reshuffling its patterns, relying upon the onlooker to revisit the artist’s gaze over the drowning faces.
First published by About Place: Dignity as an Endangered Species in the 21st Century
Under a dark moon that has decided to keep silent, I wander
along the street of chance, staring at the vanishing point,
uncertain of the odds of being, but with the certainty that it
leads to the sea. I walk like an automaton among passersby,
gliding as faceless pawns. A couple of black horses pound the
pavement, wavering between going forward or backward.
I wonder what lies for me at the end of this road lined with
lamplights and palm trees. Fan-leaved branches stretch,
unfolding an animated deck of cards turning into murals that
grow in size. Shuffled and reshuffled at each step, some cards
flip into a hall of mirrors in which I lose myself in my own
reflections, as though in an old photo album where the faces
of those now buried are fading.
we’re crossing the bridge of death to leave behind
the madness… black sacks stained
with blood… stillness… snipers…
a heart skips a beat.
I walk faster, look sideways: some things are best forgotten.
Let’s fold the night into light.I pass a couple of young men
who seem to get closer to me, then recede and peel off the
murals, disintegrate like antique parchments at the sight of an
imposing woman in Tyrian purple, a younger version of my
mother who takes me by the hand and whispers in my ear:
There isn’t a minute to lose.
First published by Gargoyle.
From The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019)
Hedy Habra was born in Egypt and is of Lebanese origin. She has authored three poetry collections, most recently, The Taste of the Earth (Press 53 2019). Tea in Heliopolis won the USA Best Book Award and was finalist for the International Book Award, and Under Brushstrokes was finalist for the USA 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. Her book of criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa focuses on the visual aspects of the Peruvian Nobel’s narrative. A fourteen-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, her work appears in Cimarron Review, Bitter Oleander, Gargoyle, Nimrod and Verse Daily. Her website is hedyhabra.com