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“after & all” by Nehal El-Hadi

“after & all” by Nehal El-Hadi

and what is dead is the idea that we came from stars, is
the knowledge that we can make the moon unimportant.
what is dying is that dance is our technology—we forget
that the movements of our limbs control the planets and
because of our jerky amnesia, we destroy worlds.

the absence of rivers is the death of songs. and the desert
remembers its scars. only there can you hear the music of
the heavens. the bedouin know this, will not forget, because
only memories survive us. finally, when the stars fall down
flare out land into clumps of rock, that is when we leave.

or, that is when we are left.

Nehal El-Hadi is a journalist, researcher, and producer whose work explores the relationships between the body, place, and technology. She also writes  fiction and poetry that explore similar themes to her academic and journalism work. Her writing has appeared in academic journals, general scholarship publications, literary magazines, and is forthcoming in several anthologies and edited collections. Born in Khartoum and raised in London and Muscat, she currently lives in Toronto. Read more of her work at

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