You ache for something you cannot name – Babo Kamel

your bones angling towards their permanent pose, the muscle and grit
of desire straining to dust fall. Everyone you know is alone or about to be,
making room for grief to move in with its minions of sorrows.

Sometimes it knocks on your door like some holy ghost that lost its way.
Still you persist in the daily meander. It’s a well learned habit to show
up as the minutes melt and the future shrinks.

Perhaps between the dishes impatient in the sink and the sheets chasing each other
around the dryer, you hear a soft voice’s urge, as from deep in white noise
do not forget this sweetness, this brief luxury of melancholy. It’s what holds imaginings—

something you can enter, weightless, spirit soft,  time forgetting its reliance
on the measured. Remember those attempts of soul travel in the sixties
how you would try to escape the body’s grip and float ceilingward

to observe your stilled self like those specimens in biology lab
not fully alive but breathing. How strange these days,  your face beginning
to resemble the faces of women staring hard from old photos

as if their younger selves became tired of waiting and rushed forth
on a current wild and unforgiving, and despite the scars and the sting
would set off again, the joy of water spray on skin

and the stars, my god the stars.

Babo KamelBabo Kamel’s work appears in publications such as the Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, CV2, Poet Lore, and Best Canadian Poetry 2020. She is a Best of Net nominee, and a six-time Pushcart nominee, Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press Find her at: