A Prose Poem by Lamia Hamdan

I don’t know how my memory turns. . .

I don’t know how my memory turns into a black hole sometimes and suddenly I look like an inexperienced and naive woman surrounded by a myriad of possibilities. I just woke up bent on freeing myself from the burden of distance, if only distance ceases to separate us and our souls are unified! What is happiness and sadness in the wake of distance? If you cannot hurt me while in my presence, how will I ever know the pleasure of being near you?

How did you achieve this feat of slaying Distance? How do I suddenly discover the perfect plan to escape the bounds of Distance’s fangs? Have not our lives all been a series of events laid in the plates of fate on this Great Table we share? And God can bless this grace and can destroy it, and He is able to be either generous or angry.

My life and yours depend on two factors: the random events that greet us and our actions. Like the sailing of a ship on treacherous, uncharted waters persistently determined to reach its port, there is no direct path towards one’s own sanctuary.

Only those impressions left on us by the very events that were out of our control and choices we have accumulated throughout our lives till this moment will accompany us on this journey.

I am a woman who prods the question of men, men in her surroundings and men in her stories. But I looked at you with confidence from the first moment. I tried to walk behind you and then next to you, and in front of you. You were not so blind to leave me unnoticed. You were so noble as to strive to have me discover my deepest impulse, reach my unadulterated self and nurture my passions rather than want me to flatter you.

What is distance here made up of? It killed my shadows; am I now a woman with no shadows?

Do you know what I discovered, my love? The distances within the language are greater than the distances spanning both time and space. In language there are distances that make you embrace me while you are from beyond the seas, and in it there is a barrier that prevents me seeing you while you are holding my hand.

My tongue knows from language what makes you confused and afraid, and what makes you jump with joy.

Do you know what silence permits, my love? It shortens the distance, it suffocates us within ourselves and we suddenly appear blind!

Do you know what I once dreamed when you suddenly fell silent one night? I saw us meet in a street full of people, maybe it was London or Paris or Prague or Melbourne, and I kissed you. I kissed you so hard and zealously that I finally tasted the pleasure that silence hides in a moment like this.

Lamia Hamdan is a Saudi Arabian writer. She is a literature graduate with a keen interest in novels, poetry and prose. Her previous works can be found at Burning House Press. She is currently in the midst of writing a novel which she one day hopes to be published. You can find her on Twitter at @LMIM99

Art Banner: Near & Far; A Dream’s Distance. A VISPO by Robert Frede Kenter (c) 2022. Twitter: @frede_kenter

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