Marwa Helal, of ritual

somewhere far within ocean not steelpan but steelpan’s cousin makes me feel warm and distant i want it to stop raining making a watermark black and panther shape on my shoe i want someone to pay me to be me just pay me to be free i am tired of everyone telling me also thinking i am sweet when all i want is to lick his salty neck when they ask me to account for my time on earth i will come with an account of the number of times i licked his salty neck confess my bitterness at those who wrote and spoke but never did act my bitterness for falsehood and failure to confront them, it, them it is difficult to write about sex at a time when men are failing our men are failing

but i can write you of ritual of ritual of ritual a structure of feeling a problematic repetition you see i am trying to break the mold i have no form rumi wrote: my place is placeless a trace of the traceless remember the ones who were there for you put the sound machine on like kanye playing for a bird maybe ill get paid tonight maybe ill get laid tonight maybe i am one of them

in the ocean

call it a city that never sleeps but never have seen my cairo its bridges its whirring lit and whirring blurring everyone here has a car and a line of credit this is capitalism’s gift and globalization is new because we finally gave it a name and now my uncle is buying persimmons from the lady on the corner where she sits and peels and cores zucchini and bamya for cooking for cooking