Saturday, January 04, 2020

New Poetry by Abigail George


This far out between heaven and hell she is still
beautiful. She was beautiful, and relevant in a way

that I was not. Manuscripts erode all around me
but she is innocent, still beautiful. Lovely. She’s

earth now. I’m average. I can’t help it. I’m so basic
at everything. I’m a still life next to her grave tears

pouring out of me like there’s no tomorrow. No
future or anything. I name her ‘water’. I name her

‘anything that is worthy of possession’. This far out
she’s salt, light, cream, if I can help it the last city,

the last blue country. A fragment of paradise ripped
from the seats of the Opera House, infestation, life.

    She’s a Sunday morning after church. I thirst for
her mouth. Her beautiful hands. Hair like silk down her back.

She’s Peter Pan chasing stars, and what this poem is,
is not a poem about a river on becoming the sea.

The reflection in the mirror is as unstable as electricity.
I wonder to myself just who does she think she is.

I am wary of her. Of what she is capable of doing.
You’re living. I’m dead. You’re warm. I’m cold through.

I don’t know how to keep the regime under control.
You’re unfinished. Tiger, you speak to me in tongues.

These are dangerous times that we’re living in, you
say. You’re joy, Yes, you are. You come in that stellar

version. While I’m a field covered with the fabric of
stars, and starlight. I don’t know how to love you back. I see

you in this photograph. You’ve lost all your hair to
the chemotherapy, you’re wearing a wig, but you still

look hot, and breathless, as exotic as a Frenchwoman’s
beauty. Of course, you lose the battle. (Breast cancer),

the love of your life has lost his own struggle. It snows
in winter-time in Johannesburg, and every time it snows

I think of you, every recovery, every relapse, summer, I
think of all the people I’ve lost. That are never coming back

to me, that are priceless, and free. Pain is such a waste.
And, so, I wake up, look, dress, and live my life, also free.

- Abigail George 2020

Abigail George is a South African writer and poet. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net-nominee, as well as the recipient of four writing grants from the National Arts Council, Centre for the Book and the ECPACC. She has two blogs (African Renaissance) and one in Goodreads. She has been published in various anthologies, numerous times in print in South Africa, and online in zines across Africa, Australia, India, Ireland, the UK, the States, Canada, and Europe. She is also an essayist, contributed to a symposium in Finland, an editor, poet, short story writer and novelist.

No comments: