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Icarus An Anthem 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 she navigating a different kind of spectacle in the bumper to bumper traffic before us she said Shhh, dont 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, Icarus 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 again 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 wedding that never was our memory will betray us yet again it will tell us shhh..dont look at it, we will be past this soon

we will settle into a new normal the hum of generators will numb 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 *Listen to Icarus