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Abigail George: Persuasion


(for Mishka and Stuart Hoosen-Lewis)

You’re a couple in the crossing. I’m not part of a couple.
My stories come out of the light that is shining in and out
of soma, of millennia, of the most loved dream factory, of
my body and my soul, take me high, take me low, take me
to the sanctuary where I will grow my hair long again. You’ve
never seen me with long hair before. Your deluge is settling
into the centre of the winter river that is rolling around inside
my head, it feels like snow-imagined, sucking in of ancients,
wind, breath, skies, and I don’t know what I know anymore.
I celebrate my life in therapy, think of Rimbaud, Nietzsche,
saying goodbye to my sister who is emigrating to Prague. I
will never see her again, kicking contradiction, love showed
up, and my reaction was more or less greeting Alaska, I don’t
know how to say goodbye, so I’m pushing you away because
it hurts so much to watch you leave forever. You’re touching
the sky, capable of finding peace amidst the chaos tonight, and
you’ll fall in love, and you’ll have daughters and sons. You’ll
have music, you’ll have flowers, you’ll have hobbies, politics,
you’ll become a sexual person, you’ll become alive again, but
I won’t be there to see it, to know that future-person you’re
still going to become. I’m altruist, you’re bone-thin, from mad
to now, from paradigm to paradigm, you’re a cook for all
seasons, but you never cook for me, for your elderly parents,
for your brother, or nephews. This is my secret. I’ll miss you.

We can believe in our blues, our obsessions, our separation,
cigarette smoke, so I close the window. I was never truly in
my element. I wanted other dimensions, the dimension of health.
You never loved me, you never called me sister, and now
you’re halfway to Prague, and I’m still dreaming of Paris, even
though I know I’m never going there. I’m without you, I’m
solo, but you’re still here, and still, still, still you don’t love me,
you don’t say that you’re proud of me, that you support my old
opinion, my journalistic-instinct, my novels, my sin, find me,
find me, find me. You don’t love me. You’ve said as much
repeatedly. I am not my mother’s daughter. She never wanted
an intellectual-prophet for a daughter. She desired beauty (don’t
make me cry, post-apartheid South Africa), and you, you are
beauty. Beauty in jeans, beauty in leather boots, beach life beauty,
brave beauty, pale beauty, and I’m sure Robert would have
fallen for you, just like any other hotblooded male. You don’t
love me. You don’t love me on this mountain, in this valley of
angels and aliens, castles in ruins, this is a feast of a book of
secrets, take the shot, make me bleed, make me cry (you’re so
good at that). I miss the way it used to be, but we aren’t kids,
we’re lions, we’re running away from home in our thirties, we’re
going places where we will be carried with purpose, just like fire.

Poem © Abigail George
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Abigail George
Abigail George
South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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