Author Feature - January 2022

Hiba Aamer, who writes under her nom de plume Hiba Heba, is a Pakistan-based writer and poet. She earned her Bachelor of English literature and linguistics degree from Air University and currently she is applying for scholarships abroad. Some of her poems have appeared in Daily Times, Terror House Magazine, Visual Verse, Feminist Voices Anthology: Volume II, OpenDoor Poetry Magazine, The Raconteur Review, The Wild Word, Ofi Press Magazine, New Feathers Anthology, Women's Spiritual Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry, The Aleph Review, The Punch Magazine, Fragmented Voices and Ink, Sweat and Tears. She has a micro-chapbook; Grief is a Firefly, published by Origami Poems Project (October 2021). Hiba achieved the 'First Runner-up' position in The New Feathers Award 2021 for her poem "Morning Prayer"


Hiba likes to experiment with unexpected imagery and extended metaphors in her poems. She keeps finding poetry in the small pockets of her heart and mind but her love for poetry truly began when she heard Eva Green recite Romantic and Victorian poetry in the T.V show, Penny Dreadful. She can be on instagram as hiba.heba_ and on twitter as HibaHeba_ 








a wall is gnarled,

and rain-blotched outside

my window, I refuse

to vandalize it with binaries:

it displaces my reveries,

the way poetry does

and the tawdry absence of it,

I’m blue and rinsed by the

psithurism of a mulberry tree.






I see you.

Like me, you’re


a swamp in a dwelling.

We merge; a suture

quivers through us,

the way nightmares

take long strides on

still waters.

We’re camping

under the mellow lilts of

our alibi; the breath

checks out.



My brother is trying to reach

into a drawer. It’s Monsoon.

The furniture is an adhesive now

like moist mesoglea; a thin film of

hymen for things that don’t breathe.

Mother’s cooking-voice scours

the sweat-sequined air. We rush 

through lunch then supper,

horsewhips thrashing our tongues.

My brother struggles to open

the drawer with a wooden ladle,

mother shouts and absconds into

her chores. ‘Where is he now?’

“Still grieving his taste buds.”

He has a penchant for chewing

bank-fresh notes, tens and hundreds.

Papa’s car honk is a whiplash to

adjourn the remaining day’s journey.

My brother swallows his crinkled

spit. Mother reappears, zaps past us

in her ironed kurta. The griddle is

aromatized by chapati, the door mat;

an empty threat awaiting some realness,

the key in the door bows in prostration.



We always thought apocalypse

would begin when Gog Magog

exclaim Insha’Allah! But it came to

us in the shape of a trifling crown, 

now the skies are a clear periwinkle,

a toddler caws in the dingy alleys, there

is no bloodbath, the shrubbery is not

dredged in shrapnel and there are no

potholes bestrewn with dismembered

corpses, every car that whirs past

the Sunday bazaar has its own story

of death, a man abluted in attar of roses

offers his wife a silk dupatta; touching

her pale rubescent heart like a mask

catching a scintilla of breath from our

mouths, a grandfather carefully trudges

over a speed breaker believing it is a

grave for all the graves left undug, his

white turban a supernal halo, a talisman

girdles around his neck; mourning all 

the souls it was supposed to protect

when magic existed to harm even those

who are long dead and erased, he moves

past the street kids playing with water-

inflated condoms, he reincarnates a grin.