Besmellah

By SARA ELKAMEL 

1. They said that hiding in a pomegranate is a grain that opens the gates to heaven.

2. Habayet el-janna or grain of heaven. 

3.  Are we talking about every pomegranate // why is it hiding // what if it slips // can you tell it is who it is or do you have to wait until yawm el-sa’a or day of the hour to know // only one // does it look like a key // is heaven gated // is it also red // does it work if you drink it // like juice // does it stay in your body // what stays in your body // does your body // stay in itself // where is this written // on our bodies // in our palms // or the insides of our ears // good hiding place.

4. Right by the kitchen there was a hole in the floor we squeezed shit into. Pomegranate skin fell on tiles impressed with burnt turquoise, burnt orange. The birds were brought down here for killing: we loved to watch. Alone in the light a hallway and a few doors down was the really black radio singing words of god.

5. I sat beside it alone in the light. Listen. gardens of grapevines                   olives                                     and pomegranates.

6. An invitation to look for lessons in yield.

7. Are they keys or are they lessons?

pomegranate

[Purchase Issue 15 here.]

Sara Elkamel is a journalist and poet, living between Cairo and New York. She holds an M.A. in arts and culture journalism from Columbia University. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The GroundTruth Project, Guernica, Ahram Online, and elsewhere. 

Julia PikeBesmellah

Related Posts

vaudeville

Before Vaudeville was the Next Big Thing

MARC VINCENZ
So—in they slot and plop in their perfectly/ burnished 180-calorie-sandwiched-glory:/ a delectable mélange well-clothed in filigrees/ of dietary fibers, sodium, zero trans fat/ and generously acidic to keep the heebie-jeebies at bay/

The Common’s 10 Most-Read Pieces of 2018

It seems like a great time to reflect on the pieces that made 2018 an exciting time for us! See what resonated with readers the most in 2018 by browsing the list below to survey our most-read works of the past year: they range from fiction to essays, interviews, and more.