Titilope Sonuga, Icarus: We need your help!

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by Titilope Sonuga

I once saw a man
on fire
a gasoline soaked
rubber tire around his neck
arms flailing
like he was trying to fly
too young to differentiate
horror from spectacle
I asked my mother
why with all the people
that surrounded him
nobody brought water
navigating a different kind of spectacle
in the bumper to bumper
traffic before us said
Shhh, don't look at it
We will be past this soon
and I tried
not to look directly
at the flames licking
at his skin
or the way his mouth
froze open without a sound
like an unanswered question
even now
this memory is coloured
by the normalcy of it
how life continued all
around him
this thief
fallen amongst us
and this is the way
It has always been
we shield our eyes from the flames
but our country is on fire
every corner of it
a smoldering heat
a slow creeping combustion
we have flown too close to the sun
with wings made only
of feather and wax
Royal Jordanian Airlines, 171
ADC Airlines, 151
EAS Airlines, 148
Bellview Airlines, 117
Sosoliso Airlines, 103
Dana Airlines, 153
and counting
while greedy mouths
continue to blow on embers
we will cast another prayer
up to God
question him
in every language we speak
ask him why us
we will plan another memorial
another tribute song
another cautionary tale
another reminder to do better
next time
and one day
even this will pass
we will forget to argue
about whether the aircraft
was 22 years old
or 21 and a half
we will forget about
a 3 year old girl
who will never know her mother
whole families wiped out
in one swoop
a bride that never was
our memory will
betray us yet again
it will tell us
shhh.don't look at it
we will be past this soon
we will settle into
a new normal
the hum
of generators will num us
we will remain unmoved
by 4 hours of traffic
the sounds of exploding churches
will be just another Sunday morning
this will be our legacy
how we are blinded by the light
even when we are flying
head first into the fire
so when our children ask us
what it was like
we will tell them
it was a dangerous gamble
between the sun and the sea
and we too afraid
to swim the distance
chose instead to spread
our faulty wings
and fly toward
the fire of the sun

Contributed by Reagan E. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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