RR

Self portrait in the city where I was born

after Jake Adam York

 

I go arm in arm
with only the shape of me

 

the men arm in arm
ogle me like some strange

 

dodging cars and looks
feline bodies dead or alive

 

he says ‘fantastic’
in the space between us

 

passing, just a second
and all of my time

 

imposing himself
forever, a word

 

he believes to be mine
a whiteness, a look

 

some body he sees
as not belonging here

 

too much, too little

 

somehow surviving.
no one likes to see that

 

not in this city,
especially if you can get out

 

if you’re not from here
passing, papers, flights

 

you’ve seen the insides
of the walledoff US embassy

 

worth more than my own
language thrown at me

 

not worth my own language
tonguetwistedsafety

 

Why did you come back                        I live here
Why did you leave                                  I live here

 

the rarity of why any

one would come back

 

here, this city is home
cradled in a toothy mouth

 

committed to eating
all foreign bodies

 

Contributor
Nour Kamel

Nour Kamel is perfectly lit and writes things in Cairo, Egypt. Kamel works as a writer and editor, studied at the University of East Anglia with a year abroad at the University of Mississippi, is a Winter Tangerine workshop alumnus, and was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2018. Kamel writes about identity, language, sexuality, queerness, gender, oppression, femininity, trauma, family, lineage, globalization, loss, and food.

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