Two poems by Abigail George

Abigail George

Jean Rhys

You need a ticket
to get to a destination
anywhere kind of place.
A place like Dominica, Dominica, Dominica.
Perhaps you will dance
like gangs of ballet,
find love there waiting
upon a throne of blue sky.
Bitter Karoo willagers patterned
with the bare milk
of frost, cattle, cheese,
fruit, grass. Perhaps
something good will
come out of it all. A hotline
in need of translation.
A dutiful symphony of Masai.
The end of climate change
as we know it just like the
history of the forced removals.

The same place, and tiredness
that I felt in mid-December,
and in January overwhelmed
me and I was left with questions.
I want to know everything,
what love is for, failure for quitters,
Rhys’s Dominica, Dominica, Dominica.
Yes, I give a damn about that.
What I will be left with in the end.
It feels as if I have lived for a thousand
years. I feel as if I have lived with
the tides. Particles of cities
and atoms. Those opened.
Those crushed. The wind is a humming
woman like Jean Rhys, coming stars,
the gentle touch of flora. There
is always a reward after a literary
fire. Literature born in that flood
flame, hook, truth, accident, age,

surface, bracket, dirt, current.
That is enough for me. It is alive.
Rhys’s Dominica, Dominica, Dominica.
Nobody told me that. I just knew it
by instinct. A dictionary is a place I lay
my head conversing with words like
jam or the regret of failure or
intense ritual. Rolling thunder
arousing lightning. Whispers, unhealthy traces
of them are manifested like a howl
by a dog, a twin, doppelganger, fluid.
Exhaling fish, the starkness
of a field. Grief’s gold, wakeful.
The flow, the ebb, the wave of the
glacial, tidal, cyclic, powerful
maiden. Darwin’s claw, and club.
Tangled reciprocity fishing for the locked away,
and delicate hoisted microscopic. The
eyes were the windows to her soul.



He’s not here but he is here at the same time.
The smell of the raging fire in the bush
lingers. Its time-place. I am flying to the sun.
I want that spark. That flying impulse that I
know is for real. There is a beauty in
possessing that commodity. My education
has been hard. I have been troubled.
Troubled always comes with doubt and insecurity.
Once I was in love now I am in love with
everything around me. The environment shooting
up out of the ground like there was no tomorrow.
People sing of living for tomorrow. What is important?
Bright language. The exploration of a child’s
otherworldliness. Is any arrow tender?
Does it have an art form like a photograph?
A self-portrait of a history erased. To be fragile
the past has taught me is to be beautiful. Noble.
He is not here but at the same time he is.

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