two poems

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.

Anxious River

 

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—

to itch

fuck

email their therapists

flicking that thing

NOWHERE.

 

where it ends.

empty into the sea.

            it means

subtle.

pleasure—

flicked.

body

back—

everywhere.


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).