“no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”
Warsan Shire ("Home")
The shame you bear is exile.
Even the borders bare their teeth
at you. With anxious feet, you straddle
the boarding gate while "homeland"
security assure you of your safety.
Nine lives remain to be spent
on milk & honey & something strong
for all the aches that take the place
of what you cannot see.
Nkateko Masinga is a South African poet. She is the author of a digital chapbook titled the heart is a caged animal, published by Praxis Magazine. Her latest chapbook, psalm for chrysanthemums, has been selected by the African Poetry Book Fund and Akashic Books to be published in the 2020 New Generation African Poets box set. She can be found at nkatekomasinga.com.