Chahine and Khan Invite Me Over to Shoot a Short


They tell me there is no script.
We will go where the muse

takes our eyes. They tell me I
am to both crew and star. I

look confused, so they remind
me, there is no frame fit for

God, so we will have to do
with what we get. Behind us,

a mountain of 16mm stock
eclipses our bodies. The

sun stays where we want it. I
can barely hold up the boom.

Hands shake, anticipating
pristine silence, the sound grain

before the storm in my chest.
I tighten my grip, but no

drop of sweat trickles down the
pole. Mohamed slams the slate.

I hear its sweet crack echo
in my palms. Youssef adjusts

his lens, shoots me a smile in
widescreen. I hold my breath, go

over my queues again. He
picks his teeth, yells:


Hazem Fahmy is a Pushcart and Best of the Net nominated poet and critic from Cairo. He is currently pursuing his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. His debut chapbook, “Red//Jild//Prayer” won the 2017 Diode Editions Contest. A Watering Hole Fellow, his poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming in Apogee, AAWW, Mizna, and The Offing. His performances have been featured on Button Poetry and Write About Now. He is a reader for the Shade Journal, a poetry editor for Voicemail Poems, and a contributing writer to Film Inquiry.