The sinew of wit

A billion seasons are born daily. The writer stalled in a
cage. You’re now light. Swimming in December, standing
on the shore a well-oiled machine. You’re a woman, sibling.
You’re a man, sibling. But all I can see is your heart. The
lust of the wilderness inside my heart is wild. Unforgiving is
the place where the reckless make their home. Nothing was
ever as pretty as you, sibling. Gutsy thing of wonder. Milk-
white arms. Spaghetti rich tan lines in a twist of fate on
your skin. Mother in your sobriety you are royalty. I have
the loneliness of Alice James inside of me. I am being toward
death. You’re not here. You’re never here. Sibling, you’re shaped
like a bullet. You’re formed like an arrow to my heart. You
think you’re so hidden like a seam, the edge of the moon, so
perfect. You were always perfect. Ice melting from her lungs
with a savage kind of violence, and I love the rain. I love the
way the stars gather around me at night. I’ve waited a long
time for your love, the mind of family life, and the photograph
is cold. Frozen to the touch, not the way I remember you,
sibling. The heritage and symbolism of my childhood sea
found in the depths of me. Let me go, you said. So, we let go.
You must have found happiness. The final analysis of the
birth of the guitar in his hand. I have to let him go. The
mirth of the ghost laughing at me for some or other reason.
I have to let them go. Left me in the corner, where a young
      girl falls like a leaf backward in a trance in her partner’s arms
with a Saturday fever, and a primitive thirst. I find myself in
the countryside now. There’s nothing here. And the kitchen
table has a special kind of wisdom. I eat buttered bread. Drink
my coffee. Imagine the king of you again. I am sitting at the
kitchen table. I eat a butter sandwich, dipping it into the coffee,
watching the bread drip on the tablecloth. Think of the way
we were. Think of the way we are now, Czech-sibling. Nothing
spiritual about you. Nothing spiritual me. Wish I was taller.
More alive than this. We know the art of friction, seducing,
seduction. You’re so aware, sibling. The professor of languages
tells me about the horses. Absorbed, I watch him speak. Think
of the silence in this house. The television not on. The radio
not playing. It was always all or nothing with you. This was
meant to be an apology. The man in the photograph is our brother
bear. Father is heaven. We’ve been punished enough. Through
enough. Mother hovers cleaning, always cleaning. It takes me
forever to wash a dish. We’re mother-figures eating plums.
Nobody said one day you will grow up to be a feminist kind
of sea. So, I go swimming in axons, dendrites and nerves with
their summer knowledge, and their lucky mind filled with
ideas. Put out your cigarette. I am already heartbroken again.
Something about the morning feels unreal. Like the brightness of
the mental health of winter scattered at the gravity of my feet.

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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