Sara Elkamel

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Sara Elkamel

Cold Feet

if i stay here // if no wedding // if i vase the flowers // if jasmine // if baby’s breath //
if bouquet of nightingales // if i shake hands with no neighbor // if no rouge or razor
// if i study the night // if i miss the window // if even god can’t find me here // if the
hollow of belly births a one-way ticket // if greek islands // if dunes not visible in the
night // if stains of rouge // if rings of age // if black pigment spills over the walls of
this cave like shame // if nothing inside says woman // if nothing outside // if sleep
thick as sin // if stair rats squeeze through a hole where my mouth had been // if i leave
the blue baby by a tamarind tree // if open window // if i cave // if wreath of dahlias
// if ululations in the night // if i learn the correct way to wash white // if i peel onions
// if fruit // if wrong fruit // if it dies in my body // if milkless // if starved // if i pare
you // if the dreambook saves every fear // if the fear is myself // if every day i flip
through a stack of blank pages looking for one with a word // if i write down a word //
if desert // if stillborn // if unsure // if i freeze the flowers until i know for sure // if i
miss the shame // if i skin the onions // if i spare you // if no wedding // if i stay here


Sara Elkamel reads “Cold Feet”

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 an MFA candidate in poetry at New York University. Her poems have appeared in The Common, Michigan Quarterly Review, Four Way Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, and as part of the anthologies Best New Poets and Best of the Net, among other publications. She is the author of the chapbook Field of No Justice (African Poetry Book Fund & Akashic Books, 2021).