Abigail George | The selected letters of a poet

Image: Omid Armin Unsplash remix

The selected letters of a poet

The hurt has turned into a wound.
Please, the woman says to the man,
the village elder, stop hurting me.

He pours salt into the wound and
rubs it in. The woman weeps and
no one sees her weeping. Her mother bakes

cakes. Like Africa she rises and turns
into Rumi. She turns into a prophet
without her pain being acknowledged.

Her pain turns overnight into anxiety.
The anxiety of the body-shamed.
It becomes noble at every counter-attack.

She becomes the diary of a new leaf.
Suicidal, she listens to Bruce Springsteen
on repeat and has midnight conversations

with him. He brings an expert psychologist
with him. She is both lamentation and
Ghana in bloom, the rejected starling majoring

in the metaphysical. I become J.D. Salinger’s
lover. I become Joyce Maynard. I become
the scientist. I fall through the air like a bright star.


Gull Island

+++++ I ask the man a pointed question, at
which point does the pain end
He does not answer me. He drinks
his black, sugarless tea. He turns his head
The river is silent and thick with sorrows.
Even the hour is filled with this pain
I stand on the edge of the man’s throat
I am the blunt knife edge. I live to write
When I am dead all I will have are these
poems. I find my purpose in my craft
I am the green apple. Books are my companions.
+++++ I taste crisp butter lettuce. Dirty dish
My poetry fills the contaminated ozone
You’re a witness. I swallow layers

++++++++++ of Sharon Olds

+++++ The stars taste like Dorianne Laux’s painted lips
I am lonely, Romeo Oriogun. The sun. The sun
Nomad, do you have answers for me?
Do you have any American solutions?
I wanted the pain to end, you see. This war
My sorrow still has not come to an end
My tears are like these words (everlasting)
I have no interest in this climate talk of change
+++++ This jazz. I make short films. I make a
YouTube channel. I have thirty subscribers
This mission statement is bulleted with flowers
How frightening this experiment is. This region
The martial arts and jar of olives of this loneliness
This assessment and evaluation of sorrows.

Poems: Abigail George
Image: Omid Armin Unsplash remix

About the author

Abigail George

Abigail George’s fiction was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She briefly studied film at Newtown Film and Television School in Johannesburg. She is the recipient of grants from the National Arts Council, Johannesburg, Centre for the Book in Cape Town, and ECPACC (Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council) in East London. She has been widely published from Australia, to Finland to Nigeria, and New Delhi, India to Istanbul, Turkey and Wales.
Her blog African Renaissance can be found online in Modern Diplomacy under Topics.
She contributed for a year to a symposium on Ovi Magazine: Finland’s English Online Magazine. She is a poet, fiction writer, feminist thinker, essayist, and a blogger at Goodreads.

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