Hibah Shabkhez

Just The Absence

Stone trees laden with pendulous fruit
     Clack: We’ll be your volcano, 
Grant you just the absence of the boot
For one spurt of lava. Go
     Baltering then to defy the storm

Your dreams are now entangled
     With the threads of this tapis woven 
By small hands gnarled and mangled
Hunting in lurching looms their stolen
     Bread, water, school uniform


Hibah is shown against a white wall, and a brown wooden board ceiling above. Hibah has brown skin and dark hair. Hibah wears a red headscarf.

Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in Bandit Fiction, Shot Glass Journal, Across The Margin, Panoplyzine, Feral, Literati Magazine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her. linktr.ee/HibahShabkhez.