it is simpler to haul myself into grief
than out of it. what is to excavate when
others remain underground? what is to
extricate when others remain bound?
what is to escape if others remain here?
in a dream i see you again, still alive.
it is simple maths: i count backwards
& you’re back to say your last words;
an assortment of apologies i accept
– then we wake up in a new world
unsullied by afterthought. your script,
written in breath, a dirge for your soul
to hum along to in the eternal slumber.
a composition of perfect posthumous
relief, a howl not confined to a throat.
Nkateko Masinga is a South African poet and 2019 Fellow of the Ebedi International Writers Residency. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 and her work has received support from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and the Swiss Arts Council. Nkateko is an interviewer at Africa In Dialogue, an online interview magazine that archives creative and critical insights with Africa’s leading storytellers, as well as the founder and managing director of NSUKU Publishing Consultancy. She is the author of a digital chapbook titled THE HEART IS A CAGED ANIMAL, published by Praxis Magazine. Her latest work has been selected by the African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2020 New Generation African Poets chapbook box set.