The Mental Hospital
Castle on a hill. Dust. Dust (dust).
Doors that could be locked from
(I could not get out, why?/locked in)
the outside. Now I hold a baby in
(I am still brave, still quiet, still suffering)
my arms, my brother’s daughter.
Insomnia. Meditation is helpful.
I swim, go for long walks, get fresh
air and my skin shines. I glide into
(no, I float like a cloud, cumuli)
the television room. The patients
watch Patch Adams. Fast forward
to 2023. Robin Williams is dead.
Now (no more sunflowers, light beer in the fridge)
I read poems by the Dutch English
poet Joop Bersee. I remember Jozi.
Johannesburg traffic and skyline.
Joop doesn’t write to me anymore
from the Netherlands. I feel fine.
Really, I feel more than fine, these days.
What else am I supposed to feel?
God, it hurts
It was a thousand steps
until the end of the love
affair. Until I call you up
from memory again. Until
my triumph turns to dust
in a blink of an eye. You
will be muse for all of my
lifetime. I wonder about
the suitable women in your
life. I turn to my madness
and sing. I butter bread. I
eat soup. I manufacture
psychological distress and
turn it into a plush toy for
the baby. And so, my brother’s
child becomes the daughter
I never had. There’s an ocean
inside my heart. I listen to the
other ocean. Ocean Vuong.
The sound of his voice is melodic.
Sun that turns into moon.
Forget this place of memorabilia and weeping
I’m energetic flight
lapses of judgement.
is my cushion.
tastes like mint
The dark spot is
My throat is a
of a plum.
I am no
The rind of
an orange drops
into a child’s lap.
In adulthood I’m
Aiming for the moon
a young girl
first blood. I am fragile. I
I am beaten.
hiccups into song.
reached the valley
a mountain’s yolk.
Poetry: Abigail George
Image: Foad Roshan on Unsplash