She’s graceful. A wall of flame. She’s beautiful.
She’s the lover that I will never have. The morning
is vulnerable and open like the face of a beautiful
man who is staring at the woman he is deeply in
love with. I think of God when I think of her. Of
course, He created her. The woman that I am in
love with. There can never be anything between us.
She will go on to have fearless children. I will go
on to write novels. She is married to a poet. (All men
are poets in their own way). We haven’t really
talked. She admires me in her own way and I admire
her. In photographs, her magazine-hair is wavy.
Luxurious. She looks like a film star. I want to mark
the return of the tragic hero and saint in her arms.
I want to find the peace and harmony that I cannot
find anywhere else there (in her arms). I used to
think about death but now when I see her, think of
her, all I can think of is life. I want to come just
as I am to the breathy dream of her. The goal of her.
She’s savage in her love (I know) and I already
know that I won’t be able to exist in that kind of world.
All my life, love and the relationships I’ve had
with others have been supervised. First, by my parents.
My mother’s instinct. My father’s inhospitable silence.
Then by a God that had to be feared. A God
that died for humankind’s sins. So, I flit and
flirt from men and women powerful and elegant
in their own way. I know the world of prayer
and meditation but I don’t pray to be with her.
I pray for her future happiness. I know the chaste
world of hospital corridors. That universe of
doctors and nurses and patients and medicine.
I’ve spent winters in hospitals (every year or
so, when the depression returns). She’s changing
the world around her like a world seen
through falling snow. She is body. She is soul. I am body too. I am soul.
All I want to do is kiss her sweet open vulnerable
face. Her moonlit shoulder blades. The nape of her milky
neck. (Of course, I know nothing will come
of this love). She will raise fearless children (that’s the
reality of the situation),
and I will go on to write novels.
Abigail George, a Pushcart Prize nominee, is a South African blogger, essayist, poet and short story writer. Recipient of grants from the NAC, the Centre for the Book and ECPACC, her work is forthcoming in Aerodrome, Mortar Magazine, Off the Coast, Spontaneity, The Missing Slate, and The New York Review.