Embers by Réka Nyitrai

When Dora is asleep, she sees hummingbirds hovering behind her eyelids. When she awakens, Dora spends her days sitting in an old chair placed in front of the window. She mostly watches the clouds and reads magazines. Sometimes, she tries to imagine how she would look with feathers, a long beak and fast-moving wings. Sometimes, she hums sad, old songs; songs that she learnt from her late grandmother. Sometimes, she thinks about starting a new life, somewhere in a faraway country, where she knows no one. Most often, when she looks into the mirror she sees a tiny bird perched on a bare branch. Even through the glass she can feel the beat of the bird’s heart. Its heartbeat on the tip of her fingertips feels as if she is touching embers.


Réka Nyitrai is a spell, a sparrow, a lioness’s tongue — a bird nest in a pool of dusk. She is the recipient of a Touchstone Distinguished Books Award for 2020 for her debut haiku volume “While Dreaming Your Dreams” (Valencia Spain: Mono Ya Mono Books, 2020). Her prose poems have appeared in Otoliths, Unbroken Journal, Pithead Chapel, Heliosparrow Poetry Journal,  NOON: journal of the short poem, Obliterat Journal, and others.