Guy Butler

There’s a song inside my head
that I can’t get rid of, and I’m
so tired of angry words, and the
darkness in my life. I’m insecure,
and vulnerable, afraid of being
alone, sleeping alone, sleeping
with you, and without you, and
intimacy just like my mother was,
afraid of marriage, whatever is
expected of me, afraid of the infatuation
phase, the honeymoon phase,
being married for years, or just a
while. Fear, and anxiety are the motivating
factor for just about everything
in my life. Forget, forgive every whisper
over the trees in the forest. The
shroud, the veil of rain that covers
the trees. Thinking about you, and
all the things you said. Your voice,
you turn me on a lonely night. You
make me forget about struggle,
and major depression while I wash
the dishes, sip green tea, thinking
about the past blooming, posing, laughing
like children, your arms around my waist,
blooming like Khalil Gibran, Rumi,
faded chrysanthemums, and prayer
as holy, and monstrous as chandeliers.
I’m still the perfect daughter, the
forlorn, and sad depressive-socialite.
There’s the language of blood, and
scars for the poet Petya Dubarova
in me tears. I weep for her nation,
her heritage, her lyricism, her words.
She was wounded, I am wounded.
Phoenix, she hurt, and I am hurting.
You’re a dangerous man, and I’m a
dangerous woman. I’m looking for
answers, calling my mother, she’s
captain, on this beautiful morning
looking for sanity, for forgiveness,
so broken-hearted, this sober ache.
There’s a bowl of barley soup on
the table. It is most delicious, yum,
but it doesn’t pass my lips. I adore
you, but he chose not to live with me,
and I will sometimes imagine that
my spirit is walking alongside his.
There should be an award for these
wild birds, the arrangement of his
hand in mine, the accompaniment of
the symphony of his kiss, the honest
way I want to touch his sea-face.
He doesn’t see Africa in the mirror
in the way that I do. Only the past.

Abigail George is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominated South African essayist, poet, short story writer, and novelist.

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