All about Eve
—for the Dutch poet Joop Bersee
On this brilliant summer day let’s do
away with instinct, Moses, Joan of Arc,
Albert Schweitzer, Franz Kafka, and
Emily Dickinson and return to words,
the nature of life, the birth of morning
inheriting the wolf. I do not want to
live here forever like this. Finding the
source of Everest, the Nile. I study her.
Her hair, her belly, her smile, her laughter.
Her beautiful, and sensitive hands and
interesting face. The one I call mother.
Triumph and hope, despair and triumph
co-exist. The lover becomes philosopher, I
become teacher. I think of her red shoes,
the ex. My brother’s ex and of how
she’s no longer here in this space. I
think of the happy vibes between lovers,
cold sunlight, the life of the sea, the
swimming pool. I’m wounded looking
out at the veil of this coastal city. Waves
flood every nerve. My anxiety withers
in this storm. This, this is my story. The door
appeared like dark paper. The craft of
writing, for example, brings me to you.
The Johannesburg of you. I think of the
radio playing in my lungs. Mountains on
the television. I listen to the social outcast
eating dry bread and who wants to
make a conversation with me. I think
of the icy mouth of winter’s stamina.
You’re begging for another survival-
cycle, lover. My hands. Yes, these hands
carry this human stain. This is not goodbye,
and I will fear no evil. I’ll only live
for the greater good. Be a man. Go on!
Be a man. The reward will be freedom.
Pushcart Prize nominated Abigail George is a South African blogger,
essayist, poet and short story writer. She is the recipient of grants
from the NAC in Johannesburg, the Centre for the Book in Cape Town,
and ECPACC in East London. See other work on Bluepepper, an
Australian-based zine edited by Justin Lowe.