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.
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