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Opening Pandora’s Box in your Thirties: Three Poems by Abigail George

Image: Alessio Lin via (cropped)


There’s a loss to the windswept
    day. The waves beautiful but I
do not want to go into the water.
    Feel it against my skin. I’m afraid I might
Drown in all of that memory. That
    sly work. I feel I might get tangled
Up in the seaweed and never come
    up for air again. Perhaps I will hit
My head against driftwood and lose consciousness.
    I remember you touching my face.
It was only a moment. Now it’s a
    memory and there’s a loss to the day.

It’s you. It’s you. The light as if from
    birthday candles are punishing. You’re
a man. Thunder. Wolf-like and unhappy.
    I’m a woman. Lightning. In other words
an angel. But I am also unhappy. How
    to solve this elegantly. I wanted to hide
from the world. (In other words,) from
    you. You’re poetry. Poetry. I say this
as if I have never experienced
    Tigers of lust, pleasure, the suffering
Of pain. I loved you. Even though you were
    Cold to me afterwards. I like to remember that.
You’re with another now. She’s more
    woman. Less girl.



Please read this!
    I wish that he would read my poems
And fall in love
    with them. That his hand would
touch the page
    as if to make his
own despair and
    sadness vanish
into thin air like
    smoke and mist.
He has made me
    feel that way.
No escaping or
    getting around it.
How lofty it is to fall in love.
    You’re the wall.
You’re the wire.
    I’m afraid I am
the domesticated.
    Life is complicated
Like a dream.

    The dream of you.
The sun exposed
    you. You confessed on a shiny day.
I’m good at waiting. For marriage.
    For fabrication.
For the boyfriend
    to make his return.
For infertility to
    turn itself into
fertility. Your
    warmth is complex.
Where is it coming
    from? It is coming
from your shirt.
    Taste. Smell. Sight.
Your open hands.
    You can be dramatic but I want your
future anyway.



I long for diary entries.
    To find you there
As if you never
    Went missing in action
After all these years.
    You’re in the lost and found box or am I in the wrong.
I’m in danger of losing you
    Once again and I have an appetite
For this winter light.
    This feeling that I have
Inside of me is fear.
    Fear that I am in danger of
Calling you up again
    On the telephone,

Fear of being alone for
    The rest of my life.
Listening to silence
    On the other end of
The line. You, the butcher
    Stringing me along as if
I was a side of beef.
    You’re just being you, an actor in a film.
I wish I could sink my
    Teeth into you again
Like I once did and taste flesh,
    Blood, hair, light, salt.
I can’t be happy just with me,
    On my own anymore.


Poems © Abigail George

Image: Alessio Lin via (cropped)

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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