top of page

Hedy Habra

The Escape

   After Remedios Varo’s Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle


A dissonant note rises

             silenced with

                        colored threads.

Under deft fingers,

            two figures hide

            in the folds

of the cloth,

woven in an embrace,

            stitch by stitch,

she rehearses her own flight. 


She hasn’t met him yet,

            but knows

                        what he looks like.

Wasn’t he tailor-made,

stitch by stitch,

            to fit her needs?

            Furtively, they fall

                        head upside down,

in a cascade of fabric,

spill out

            the slit windows,

disappear into the landscape.








Frame your lover’s smile

hang it on a wall


or over the mantle

light the fireplace


stare at the empty spaces

left by dancing shadows


see them rise in a mural

in monochrome rainbows


with dissonant colors



The patient’s black leather jacket was thrown on a chair. When I hung it in the closet, I found, bulging in one of the pockets, more than a thousand dollars he must have forgotten about because when I handed them to him he acted as though I was giving him a gift.

And why would I ever do that, I wondered, but had no time to reflect since he was getting ready for surgery and became my elderly neighbor to whom I had been a source of solace in the East wing of that hospital that looked like an underground shelter.

Or Why Does She Paint a Virtual Space for Silent Words?


Sometimes she slips into folds of lavender hues, curls into daydreams; her open palm holds ashes of words unsaid, their symphony in gray minor fades away with every brushstroke dipped in desert sand, awakening dunes pregnant with gypsum roses now piled up on rice paper steeped with sunshine, to color her ochre song. Sepias warm her heart as she carefully adds a drop of dew, mend its invisible holes, softens the contours of rebellious shapes and desires.


Oblivious of the passing of time, she enters a virtual space pregnant with silent words, watches the reflection of shadows dance over the walls of a resounding cavern while words break into syllables, phonemes morph into motes floating in the void, yes, her brush acquiesces, moving faster, yes, here lies the source of forgotten signs melting into shades of colors speaking only to her as she witnesses the birth of a new language.

Works from Author

Hedy Habra is the author of two poetry collections, Under Brushstrokes, and Tea in 

Heliopolis, winner of the 2014 USA Best Book Award for Poetry and finalist for the 

International Poetry Book Award. Her collection of short fiction, Flying Carpets, won the 

2013 Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention, and was finalist for 

the 2014 USA Best Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. She is the recipient of 

the Nazim Hikmet Award. Her multilingual work is featured in Cimarron Review, Bitter 

Oleander, Blue Fifth Review, Cider Press Review, Diode, Drunken Boat, New York 

Quarterly, Nimrod, Mizna, Verse Daily, Poet Lore, World Literature Today and 

elsewhere. She has poems forthcoming in Fifth Wednesday Journal and Gargoyle. She 

has a passion for painting and teaches Spanish at Western Michigan University. Her 

website is

bottom of page