Poetry from Babo Kamel
The Message on the Tissue
Today I answered the oven, but no one was there. It could have been a crank call. I told it to hang on. I couldn’t remember what name I was using. Someone keeps asking if I know who the president is. I tell them that I have no president because I can’t stand the smell in the room. Yesterday was pedal panic in the car. On the way to the bank I tried to hide all my monopoly money. Manic on his horn the man behind me kept yelling that a lettuce waited for him. Everyone knows there is no lettuce in a sky filled with corn. Besides I am looking for the lost cat that lives in my veins. It meows at night because it hates to swim in blood. Somewhere in the future I have a daughter. When I get there I will tell her. I will unpack all my socks. I don’t see why I must put shoes on after so many years. My soul is bare. My feet are just trying to catch up. You know we should have tea sometime. My teapot is cracked but I will send it to school so it can learn something new. Did I tell you that already? The advice is piling up on my doorstep. They have the wrong place. I do water them though. I am the tissue holding device. They don’t pay me enough, so I steal one or two, just in case. I write messages on them. Like this one. They escape into a poem. If you find me, can you tell me how and when will I ever get home? Oh anyway once I sneaked into the lab and talked to all the rats. I turned over all the signs that said sensory deprivation and just talked to them. Who would do that to rats? Put them in a cage without their mamas?.
Babo Kamel‘s work is published in reviews such as Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, CV2, Poet Lore, and Best Canadian Poetry 2020. She is a Best of Net nominee, and a six-time Pushcart nominee, Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. She divides her time between Montreal and Florida. Find her at: babokamel.com