swept up in the wonder of flight,
as ignorant as Icarus must have been
to wax and feathers’ inadequacies
against the sky’s fire-in-residence,
I burned and fell.
there was no shame in watching
my makeshift wings melt —
only the pain of peeling,
of merging with my mistake
of being so irrevocably ruined:
doomed to hell.
will you make me a myth in your mind?
a cautionary tale about the cauldron
of uninhibited desire?
make me small and immortal:
a firefly with angel wings.
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.