A Firefly Flailing In A Glass Jar by Nkateko Masinga

Nkateko Masinga | December 6th, 2023 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

I wanted to love him without his voice
being the small god to whom I offered myself at night;
a threshing floor sacrifice, clandestine,
not destined for or deserving of the morning light.

I wanted ceremonial bonfire;
drums and drunken delusion
to distract me from the pain
of his departure.

I wanted to feel something
besides the ache of longing.

I wanted to rid myself of regret.

I wanted to throw myself into the fire
and say he burned me.
He did, didn’t he?

He found me sober, yet not quite sane:

nobody with sense abandons their heart at a terminal —
the onward journey and its pain are inevitable.

He threw a match.
The fury swirled in my blood.
I tried on my empty ribcage.

Nobody knows about him.

I tend to my wounds in near-silence;
a firefly flailing in a glass jar.

Poet Bio

Nkateko Masinga is an award-winning South African writer whose poetry has been translated into French, Bengali and Tamil. Her next poetry book, ‘Daughter Wound’, will be published by Hazel Press in 2024.

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