I’m helpless. She knows this and tells me
to forget this place of weeping and change.
She’s an afternoon shadow. A crack in the
wall. A crack in the system. She doesn’t
believe in the |Holy Spirit. Once she was
a daughter. Now she is a lover. She’s the
opposite of me. She’s beautiful and caring
to those who know her well. I don’t know
anyone. I don’t know people. All I know of
is poverty. The heavenly peace of religious order. Instead,
I know the powerful language of the birds.
Films. Susan Sontag and Wuthering Heights.
But she doesn’t understand this. Why I
shake like a fish in danger from being swept
from the sea. The fish a hero for service.
I know the passages of grief. Those trespassed floodgates.
I’ve bathed in the Rome of grief. The happy
joys of soon to be forgotten pasta. Wine.
I’ve painted pictures of a mad country in words.
That’s my truth. That’s the currency I deal in.
It is also my sadness. My madness is my sadness.
All my life I’ve searched for a cure. Never
coming close. Only to demise and despair.
I would have offered my whole life to the supernatural
if the madness stopped. Conversation with
nails made of flame made of the master of nightmares.
Anything to stop the drowning. That fear.
Instead, I have always been the author.
The poet, and my struggles have been
both public and private. I’ve searched
place and time and space. Holistic and the personal.
The history of this has always been
sacred and as cold as winter. Just as
powerful and present. Burning fire in my hands.
Adored and not wanted. Adored and
not wanted. Similes and metaphors.
They judge. Judge me. Tie me up and down.
High and low. I always have to take
its temperature. Follow in its footsteps.
Its noise leaves the cells of my heart
vulnerable. The door to my soul open wide.
My eyes wise to its repeated progress.
ABIGAIL GEORGE is a South African blogger, poet, short story writer, and aspirant young adult novelist. She briefly studied film and television production at the Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She has been published in various anthologies, numerous times in print in South Africa, and online in e-zines based in Australia, Finland, the UK, the United States, India and Ireland and across Africa from Istanbul, Turkey to Nigeria.