by Babo Kamel


The palm trees outside the window are waiting to wed.
But the officiate is late.

They stare at each other, touching fronds, tasting of perpetual summer. At night
we hear them imagining themselves elsewhere. Unrooting. We smell the yearning.

Annie on Mulberry lane doesn’t believe us.
Well, they aren’t outside the window, exactly.

They’re out back hiding from the gators.
But they know the gators are waiting for the love moment. Gators hate sentimentality.

You never see them on Hallmark cards.
Annie knows everyone’s secrets. She doesn’t like to gossip, but

The yellow heart of recognition nods in compliance. It’s especially hungry in the morning.
Annie dyes her hair black. Rides a horse down Broadway.

There will be a musical that will undo the president. He will pronounce nothing.
All musicians know this. That the bow is tipped.

Toutes les promesses ont disparu dans les rue.

The sun’s laughing her head off.
Gators swallow the sun.

Babo Kamel’s poems have appeared in literary reviews in the US, Australia, and Canada. Some of these include Painted Bride Quarterly, Abyss & Apex, The Greensboro Review, Alligator Juniper, The Grolier Poetry Prize, Contemporary Verse 2, Rust + Moth, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and 2River Review. She was a winner of the Charlotte Newberger Poetry Prize  and is a Pushcart nominee. She has work forthcoming in Pantheon Magazine, Redactions Poetry & Poetics, Mizmor L’David Anthology, The Inflectionist Review, Lines+Stars, Origins, and dreams&nightmares.


Image credit: Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash 

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