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PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
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Issue 89, April-June 2016
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130

Guest Poetry Editor: Hedy Habra

Hedy Habra is the author of Under Brushstrokes (Press 53, 2015), finalist for the 2015 USA Best Book Award for Poetry, and Tea in Heliopolis, winner of the 2014 USA Best Book Award for Poetry and finalist for the International Book Award for Poetry. Her collection of short fiction, Flying Carpets (Interlink 2013), won a 2013 Arab American National Book Award’s Honorable Mention, and was finalist for the 2014 Eric Hoffer Award and the USA Best Book Award. Her book of literary criticism, Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa (Iberoamericana 2012), explores the visual and interartistic elements in the Peruvian novelist’s characters’ interiority. She has an M.A. and an M.F.A. in English and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish literature, all from Western Michigan University, where she currently teaches and received the All-University Research and Creative Scholar Award and a Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship Award. She is a recipient of the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award and was finalist for the Pablo Neruda Award. She writes poetry and fiction in French, Spanish, and English, and has numerous poems and short stories in journals and anthologies. Her website is
Three Poems by Hedy Habra
Visit Stacy's book page at Press 53 to order a copy of Scissored Moon for $14.95.
First Bra

I remember when I turned eleven how my mother panicked: “Your cousin Coco is nine and has already lemon-sized breasts!” I didn’t think lemons were pretty sprouting on one’s chest but Coco’s lemons were her mother’s pride and my mother’s despair.

I can still see the shimmer of my first bra, whose sole purpose was to maintain hope for better days as an amulet in fertility rites or a conjurer of seasonal rains.

Its layers of sheer nylon made me shiver when I’d feel them sliver between my fingers. I’d wash it with great care using soft soap foam as though its airiness carried arcane messages yet to decipher while I wore it against my flesh.

In French, soutien-gorge means support for the chest, 
or throat. That must be why my voice became hoarse every time I slipped it underneath my clothes.

First published by Poet Lore
From Tea in Heliopolis (Silver Concho Poetry Series, Press 53 2013)

The Apple of Granada  

Some say Eve handed a pomegranate to Adam, and it makes sense to me. How can the flesh of an apple compare to the bejeweled juicy garnets, the color of passion, hidden under its elastic pink skin tight as an undersized glove, a fruit withholding the power to doom and exile since the dawn of time. For a few irresistible seeds, didn’t Persephone lose sight of the sun for months? I mean, think of the mystery hidden in its slippery gems, of the sweetness of the tongue sealing the union with the beloved in the Song of Songs. And I succumb, despite how messy it is to crack the fruits open, invade that hive, oblivious to the indelible droplets splattering the sink, reaching beyond the marble counter all over my arms and face, as my fingertips delicately remove its inner membranes, until the bowl is filled with shiny ruby red arils. I add a few drops of rose and orange blossom water, the way my mother did and my grandmother used to do and her mother before her.  

First published by Cumberland River Review
From Under Brushstrokes (Silver Concho Poetry Series, Press 53 2015)

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 (Silver Concho Poetry Series, Press 53 2015)