by Sara Elkamel
jumping off bridge
A girl drowned in an attempt to flee a lone man. some denied the girl. I Saw around the death I Saw the cause of death the street a bladed weapon against many women.
Note: “jumping off bridge is an erasure of a Daily News Egypt report, “Girl drowns after jumping off bridge to escape sexual harassment: Witnesses,“ December 10, 2014.
If I could dream
of flesh—what else.
I envy the living the arbitrary ways they talk
their ability to go back the way they came,
where it itches, pray to rosaries before they sleep,
for a thousand and one nights, &
things like: sometimes you’re just
and the guilt strikes from
I really don’t know where my body begins and
Didn’t know I run north and north and
To be honest, I welcome this sublime dissociation—
there’s not much I remember & it makes the suffering
Truth is, I don’t spend much time thinking about
I definitely don’t want any of my vestigial organs
But sometimes I dream of dreaming I had some
with a beautiful
my own body sweating from
I would dream
about the body—
email their therapists
flicking that thing
where it ends.
empty into the sea.
Sara Elkamel is a poet and journalist living between her hometown, Cairo, and New York City. She holds an MA in arts journalism from Columbia University and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at New York University. Elkamel’s poems have appeared in The Common, Michigan Quarterly Review, Four Way Review, The Boiler, Memorious, wildness, and as part of the anthologies Best New Poets 2020, Best of the Net 2020, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 3: Halal If You Hear Me, and 20.35 Africa: Vol. 2, among other publications. She was named a 2020 Gregory Djanikian Scholar by The Adroit Journal, and a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s 30 Below Contest in the same year. Elkamel is the author of the chapbook “Field of No Justice” (African Poetry Book Fund & Akashic Books, 2021).