Nour Kamel

Bata Soda

If there’s an equivalent for black sheep in arabic i don’t know it
whoever You are i carry You like the moon carries the months
i don’t want to let You down and You wouldn’t imagine me 
lost between calendars and a goofy tide

a ram and the sun play hot potato with my liver, the sun
makes to catch it, the galaxy quivers and my liver dries up
making it to her arms never. they sell it to a food truck
You eat me drenched in tahina on soft french bread   

i wrote this poem seven times in stops, 3 times fast 4 times slow
traced with red skin your calligraphy, your cursive bones
too big to curse You with but the meaning of a kid
whose word is only love really. 

this is the part where i can still be You, 
but I couldn’t wrap my head around a peach, my jaw
chews the pit clicking kho kho khokh and you’re veiled 
rolling eyes at a tongue that calls anything but mama

there is only one word in your mouth, and You feign others to get by
we aren’t so different then, there is an off-yellow-sickly prickly pear 
You swallow every summer seed to flesh ratio phenomenal pebbles 
find the hollows of your teeth hopeful for what might blossom

maybe you’d think i was silly and want to know too much 
when there’s god so how can we be lost inside our own skin 
the ram thinks me redeemable she etches into my side
a sun tattoo, rings of words I can’t read on my own

 as i watch mute 

there’s an equivalent for black sheep in arabic

and i’m sure i don’t know it

Nour Kamel is perfectly lit and writes things in Cairo, Egypt. Kamel works as a writer and editor, is a Winter Tangerine workshop alumnus and advisor, and has a degree in American and English literature from the University of East Anglia with a year abroad at the University of Mississippi. Kamel writes about identity, language, sexuality, queerness, gender, oppression, femininity, trauma, family, lineage, globalisation, loss and food.