Fingers nest-curled around
a caterpillar, her eyes

full of summer, the girl is
dagger-fixed on the insect

exploring the warm universe of her palm.
And from that, a story

about an insect prince, his green coat
speckled with yellow diamonds

how he floated on a leaf to get home.
She resides in the days soft edges

like my son years ago who returned
from preschool, cheeks flushed,

breath trying to catch up with voice
to tell how he saw all the colors

of the rainbow from a dungeon
his teacher hung in the window

and how for a moment that image
magically suspended new in the air

like the sweet release of something caged

before making its way back through
the word he heard as prison

splitting white light into blues
yellows, and greens. Giddy and temporal.

Originally from Montreal, Babo Kamel is now retired to Florida. Her work is published in reviews such as Greensboro Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, CV2, Poet Lore, and Best Canadian Poetry 2020. Her chapbook, After, is published with Finishing Line Press. She divides her time between Montreal and Florida. babokamel.com

See more of her work in 9.2

Previous | Next