Once I called you home. Once you called / me sanctuary. Your hands were like a hat full / of leaves, a porcelain teacup full of blue sky…
The old woman standing at the end of the tunnel
(for Allan Kolski Horwitz)
Alice is waiting for the light. We’re all
waiting on the museum. She’s waiting
for the light. I’m waiting for the light.
The world is full of stories for us to sup
on. Even you must have one. The text
sparkles. It stretches out into the widening
silence. Alice is fathoming. The old girl
has hit her head. She is bleeding from
the wound. Her heart over the years has
been faithful. Alice is young and smart
and no-nonsense. The priest must come
over the vastness of desert and city jungle.
The priest must come to pray for me.
Alice is not holy like the tubers and fossils
found underground are. I’m left to clutch
at the bird in my hand. Alice is eating
sunflower seeds and honey. The old girl
pours milk into her tea. I’m falling in love
with Tarzan. Me Jane. Let’s give thanks.
Let’s celebrate the galaxies. New and old.
(for Tamtamkhulu Afrika)
I think of total exhaustion and being. How
it takes me from winter to summer. Then I
think of you and the space, the gap you in-
habit for me. The thing is I don’t distrust you,
or pain. I think of you unburdened. I think
of you but you’re light years away from me
now. Once I called you home. Once you called
me sanctuary. Your hands were like a hat full
of leaves, a porcelain teacup full of blue sky.
Now all I know is betrayal, ghost protocol,
the estrangement of the heart, the page, the
frozen sea. I am the surgeon. You are the
vibes in my fingers at the operating table.
You are the phases of a Saturday morning,
the leveling out of daylight. There’s nothing
common about you. About your system of
arrows, your symphony of sorrows. You’re
light, I’m a bird found with an olive branch
in it’s mouth. The notes found here in this
world’s paradise are tentative. I’m thinking
of you again. Now what is so wrong about
that. You were romance, and I was homelessness.
Now all that I know of love is extinct for me.
(for Gus Ferguson)
I fear photographs and the sea’s philosophy. Now we
all grow like wildflowers. Anywhere that we please.
Poetry © Abigail George
Image by Bessi/mohamed Hassan from Pixabay