Hypothetical Body Equation (with Cats)

by Nour Kamel

Desert Cat by    crepuscine    (2014). Digital illustration.

Desert Cat by crepuscine (2014). Digital illustration.

So they make me fall in love with what I could never love whole. What mascara do you use? You have beautiful eyelashes masha2allah. Compliments praising gods work and not you. I want to be the extremes of myself and dress in drag. King. Queen. A boat. where. is the line. though where can I be the utmost of myself if not on public transportation. To and fro to and fro, the ashes had me at don’t mind the gap. I try not to burn up too soon and fall. Feel parts of me have, scooping imaginary limbs I had briefly before forgetting forever.

So I went and made you, because everything where I was was too much. I gathered the drek, discarded cat bones, everything that had a hole in it that couldn’t be mended. Loose drippings from the pan. I turned everything unwanted my chest could expand to breath in into you. I named you Home and called you Beaut. Now the drek has turned the alive of green, the cats know where their bones are buried, and patchwork isn’t something the poor do mama to hide their bodies. I’d let you light the world when it got darkest but sometimes you say the stupidest shit and you won’t let me bring anymore cats Home.

So I named my body Come, and I’ll let it call what it needs.


Nour Kamel is perfectly lit and writes things in Cairo, Egypt. Kamel is Egyptian, works as a writer and editor, is a Winter Tangerine workshop alumnus, and has a degree in American and English literature from the University of East Anglia with a year abroad at the University of Mississippi.

Shortlisted for the Brunel University International African Poetry Prize in 2018, Kamel writes about identity, language, sexuality, queerness, gender, oppression, femininity, trauma, family, lineage, globalization, loss and food. Their work appears or is forthcoming in Asameena, Anomaly, and Rusted Radishes.