Babo Kamel

For George Floyd, Who Can Never Rest In Peace

The sun quaked this morning afraid of her heat
after night soak of blood rage and tear gas
street- seethe so thick you scrape it from your teeth

This was a day she could not bear to greet
in aftermath of flames and broken glass
The sun quaked this morning afraid of her heat

Another broken man, a black body to beat
as if the will to live is somehow trespass
street-seethe so thick you scrape it from your teeth

No longer needed the damned white sheet
A knee on the neck until no air could pass
The sun quaked this morning afraid of her heat

And twitter afraid to block a mad man’s tweet
The lies keep coming alone or en mass
street- seethe so thick you scrape it from your teeth

Listen, no longer can we quietly retreat
Our country in ruin on the brink of collapse
The sun quaked this morning afraid of her heat
street-seethe so thick you can’t scrape it from your teeth

***

Crow Aubade

The crow cannot escape
the first consonant
of its name

throat-caught. Staccato
Stutter
of the self

Sleep-eclipsed. Begin
Reacquaintance
of the body

Muscle ache
Fever fear
Flashback

Crowd panic
Too close too close
Covid breath

Skin scare.
Stay back.
Attack.

Knick
Knack
Paddywhack.

Walking while black

Mask it
Track it
It’s a fact

Knee on neck, knee on neck, knee on neck

***

Originally from Montreal, Babo Kamel now resides in Florida. Her work is published in literary reviews in the US, Australia, and Canada including the Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Lines + Stars, and most recently in Poet Lore. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, is a Best of Net nominee, and a six-time Pushcart nominee. Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. She has a poem forthcoming in Best Canadian Poetry 2020

A Poetry Journal

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