A Firefly On The Courthouse Steps by Nkateko Masinga

Nkateko Masinga | April 4th, 2024 | poetry | No Comments

Poem

I approach the scale of consequence with you:
the judge, jury and executioner to the condition
of my heart. I have negotiated, but now I plead:
Let me live. My offense was that I stayed too
long an undisciplined disciple of your shadow.

Consider me with kindness, with the soft eyes
you had when it was my soul you pandered to.
Exhibit A: Recall the night you fetched your jar
of ointment to relieve my shoulder from its itch
when your surname was newly tattooed there.

Consider me crawling along this salted path
with bleeding knees. I have endured assault
for love’s sake. Your honour remained intact
while I outran my reflection. See me faint at
your feet, a firefly on the courthouse steps.

Poet Bio

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

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