All posts tagged: Hisham Bustani

A Few Moments After Midnight

By HISHAM BUSTANI

Translated by THORAYA EL-RAYYES

To Alaa’ Tawalbeh

1

An extinguished cigarette is suspended between my fingers. I don’t know who put it there, but I feel worms moving inside it. When I look at them I imagine I’ve seen them before, tens of small bodies—identical, without any features.

The cigarette is a large worm ingesting and regurgitating the smaller worms inside it. They slither into my mouth, filling my lungs, and after a short, loud party there, they begin to flow with my blood.

I don’t know why I felt compelled to jump from the third-floor window. I don’t know where that tree shot out from on my way down. And I don’t know what made our neighbor go outside to hang her laundry at the moment that I fell. I don’t know why I imagined that I died when I collided with the ground. I was happy at that moment of collision; I closed my eyes tight and slipped into something like a delicious nap.

It took only a few moments until I heard our neighbor scream and realized something was wrong. I hadn’t really died; I could still hear the honking of cars driving by.

When I stood up and dusted off my clothes, the crowd surrounding me started to back away. Maybe I scared them. I heard one of them tell another, with fear in his voice: “There are worms coming out of his nose.”

“They are not coming out,” I corrected: “they are spilling.” I left them and walked up to my apartment.

 

Isabel MeyersA Few Moments After Midnight
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Freefall in a Shattered Mirror

By HISHAM BUSTANI

Lying suspended over a lake. She can see her entire self on the surface of the water. Every now and then circles appear and expand, distorting the image. At times she looks at her reflection with sadness, at times she chokes with bitterness and tries to escape, to turn over or stand in the air. But it’s no use, she is totally fixed—as if fastened with unseen ropes.

Thick fog passes underneath. When it shrouds the view below, she feels euphoric, she feels herself turn inside out, revealing attractive short hair and two ears with seven rings in each, revealing her perfectly feminine form. She is fragrant with the scent of lemon. 

Julia PikeFreefall in a Shattered Mirror
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