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Abigail George | This is what happens to my tears

This is what happens to my tears and the rain after it falls into the sea inside

(for Rosaline)

Thirst in the country, longing within. Red dust, eddies of dust float.
Red ants covering the linoleum. The tension and the dark spark twist.
Loneliness, what is the antidote? The quest of the seeker, the believer.
The bad mistake was a choice. Porcelain fragments like magic. Bitten
to the quick is night. Day breaks in a cup of cool and clean lines. I
believe in rage, in the flowers. The sun is lit from within with a volcano,
light pours through the windows glowing with a kind of alien wonder
and intensity and what is it then to be expected to be healthy? A mosquito
bite and skin turns into salmon pink suffering. I don’t know paradise,
what worship is, where the end of the world meets the tough sea, reckoning at
the outpost or Jay Gatsby drinking with Fitzgerald in a time gone by in
Paris. I am a spy in a romance novel, I unfold in knowing chapters and
parts, the rest still unwritten, the poet within me still dying to belong to
years. The silence like a wave rolls up to meet my ear. I will forgive. I will.
They don’t like me but I’ll forgive them anyway. Until my poor afflicted third
eye cries out for consolation and is done in by fear and rejection. Until
then I will only think of myself cloaked in wildflowers growing on a beach.
When the man came at night, madness rained from the bipolar starlight
You. You bright ill career. Your dazzling bright career. What would I do without
you, you in my imagination, in my arms night and day. Pale dahlias in my soft brown hands.

I worship the night with you. You pour the sun into my eyes autumn
leaves. The moth’s white eye curls in the fluorescent light. I have this
terrible longing for something which I cannot have. That escapes me, the web,
my fluid judgment. Welcome to my world, my inner life. It’s keen sadness.
It’s milk. It’s red worm. Where I long to play my part. I eat all the olives
in the lake of the Greek salad. I smile. I even act a little. This life is not
everything that it’s cracked up to be. It’s a hook. It anchors me most days.
But when the bad days come. Winter. And then it’s hell. I swim against the
current. I lost myself. What is winning anyway? It’s the champion’s state
of mind and the attainment of inner bliss. Bukowski’s bluebird. The blurb
at the back of my Petya novella. Tomorrow if the day is happy, at peace.
I’ll remember what it feels like to win. The day is dejected. Driftwood.
The curtains are a dreary brown filled with melancholia. They must be nursed
back to health. I dream of a film. It fills my senses. Even my arms are cinema.
I am a talking woman found with a spiritual man in the middle of the afternoon.
I think of you standing still. And as I float up to meet you sky opens up. Rain
falls. Gravity pulls me in. A palpitation. An ache. The moth flies into the light.
The elbow grabs a hold of nothing. My sister marries Europe. She is adored.
My mother laughs. But it makes a pleasant sound. There’s a song in it. The
mental hospital is far away. So far off in the distance. The dog barks. The other

dog scratches at the door. The Gemini lights a candle. Some woman is listening to
a show on the radio and is reading her horoscope. I have never forgotten your
love, my love. For the natural world. For animals. Nor have I forgotten solitude.
I only live now for the text to be found at this moment. Arthur Nortje is playing
chess against Biko in heaven and the sun and day are to be found here.
Now as I grow older I am losing parts of myself in chapters as I become
older. It’s not about cooking the perfect meal and personal growth
for me anymore. My father is manic depressive and I inherited his genetic
code. This is all I have written about for years, the solitary life and my loneliness.
Chronic illness is found breathing in my fingertips, my neck, my shoulder
blades, my legs, my lungs and I can’t make it go away no matter how hard
I try. Light pours into the vessel that is my disabled body. Today I asked the
sun to come into my life. I listen to classical music. My veins turn into
Erik Satie and Debussy. I try to remember your face in my hands as I fall asleep.
Depression and the memory of water comes in vibrations. The moon
collects the blues. I eat pudding and become mentally ill. What to do with this
state of affairs? I will make a career of it. Off to the mental ward on an
escalator ride and when I am sane I fall in love with writing novels and
the art of trying to heal. I journal emptiness away and await the flowers of sanity.
This is what depression is. Night rain, morning sun, winter snow, breath.

———

Poem: Abigail George
Image: Sam Moghadam Khamseh Unsplash remix

Abigail George
Abigail Georgehttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5174716.Abigail_George/blog
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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