Babo Kamel


Airbnb, Boulevard St. Joseph

Rain persists for days.  Flood warnings.
A visitor in the city.

The rain here carries the breath
of all the past rains

on this street, and of a woman
who, at this kitchen table

sat and listened on mornings just like this,
grey sneaking in through slatted blinds.

What intimate trespass, to move into the life
of another, imagine its rhythms.

This house still holds her.

The good wood of these floors
continues to creak as if she walks them.

Fake fruits asleep in their bowl
seem to chuckle as they dream

of grandchildren years ago, playing tricks
on each other, offering a wax grape here,

or to peel the impossible
yellow of a plastic banana.

Bone china teacups appear ever patient
in the waiting room of the cabinet

and in a chest, one empty drawer
seems to cling to the scent

of her absence. As if it was truly
the only thing she unwillingly left behind.



Babo Kamel

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, and most recently in Poet Lore.  She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson’s Program for Writers, and is a Best of Net nominee,and a six-time Pushcart nominee. Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. Find her at: