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Nkateko Masinga: Catharsis


under our bed,
I find a greying photograph of the woman you loved
and still love on mornings like this

place it on the mantelpiece for you to inspect
give you a chance to feign ignorance

at midday we separate

it was inevitable, it seems

you, having rolled out of the chrysalis of uncertainty
I, having disentangled myself
from a night-mare that was not mine

now I know

what the knife-wielder
held against her frame
in my dreams each night
was no common blade –

it was you
your body

always so close to her skin
always so red
yet it was always I that bled

caesurae for the cessation of blood

you, at the breakfast table / my heart on a platter
words make good skewers / you, a horrid partner
surgeon hands killer eyes / I am yours to plunder

offering basket for a body / cadaver your carnival
cause of death: unknown / add lies to the arsenal

don’t clap at my funeral
please sir, I did not mean / to exit at the interval
Poetry © Nkateko Masinga
Photo by Derek Torsani on Unsplash (modified)

Nkateko Masinga
Nkateko Masinga
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. She writes for Odd Magazine and Green Black Tales and is the Contributing Interviewer for Poetry at Africa In Dialogue, an online interview magazine that archives creative and critical insights with Africa’s leading storytellers.

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