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Poems - Wings
Icarus eats his breakfast in front of the TV.
Balances his Wheaties on a butter knife –
Big and strong on jagged silver cliffs.
On cloudy days, he watches fireflies
Blinking in Morse Code,
Hollering help to the tree sap they're trapped in.
He scoops ladybugs up in the crook of his elbow
To count their spots backwards,
To ask them where they've been.
He doesn't understand the morning news.
He feels it like a nosebleed,
Like a thick intrusion,
And when the worry clots on his lip, he trembles.
He says, "Papa, I wanna paint the world for you,
But it just won't sit still"
Icarus doesn't want to be in charge of hiding the universe from itself.
He's sick of kicking people out of his clubhouse.
He's got sixteen feet of imagination
Wrapped around the war monsters in his closet,
But he still can't imagine why the quiet is so tragic.
He can't figure out why he's got to hold his own hand
On the subway.
See, Icarus watches the world like an opera in ancient Greek:
He feels the words but he can't revive the music.
He's worried loving is a dead language,
So he carries a little flame to school in his brown-paper lunch bag.
He just wants to share.
He just wants to jump a little.
Wants to make some friends who aren't made of dust.
He's supposed to be your next champion.
Instead, he's choking back poetry.
He's reading the paper and the paper says, "more dead"
And "more dead" and
"Infant beaten to death. Father says, 'I just wanted him to stop
Acting like a little girl.
I never hit the kid that hard before'"
And Icarus gets knocked back by the dark.
He says, "Isn't there somewhere that's warmer than this, Papa?
There's gotta be a city in the sun or something, somewhere.
I've been inking apologies into my palms,
Waiting for a sign language message from the gods.
And I've been burning wax all my life and I fear
My fingers don't know how to talk to heaven anymore.
I've got a mile-high pile of black-burned wickedness
And a puddle of bees' blood the size of this island
And I'm dizzy from living this kaleidoscope life.
And I'm worried your answers are a little too easy,
Because that sea's a little deeper than you're making it seem,
And my arms are so tired from holding on to the ground and the sky.
Papa" He says, "I don't think I can fly."
Icarus goes down in the water and in history
As the boy too thrilled to listen to reason.
But Icarus is smarter than his papa thinks.
See, he's been eating his Wheaties but
He knows he won't ever be
Strong enough to hold up the Earth on Atlas's sick days.
And his lungs are full of adjectives
And he can't stand feeling like he's melting.
And he's not interested in trading one island prison for the next.
So when he jumps, he lets his feathers make their own path down to the ocean,
Because he doesn't need them.
Because he knows the answers don't come from the breasts of gulls.
He knows he can't spend the rest of his life flailing in maple sap,
Waiting to die.
He's got a clubhouse to build.
He's gonna make friends who don't crumble.
He's gonna paint himself red – spotless
So you'll have to ask him where he's going.
He just can't be caught in these crosswinds anymore.
So Icarus aims up
And escapes to the sun.
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by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (20:00:00)
Added on: 14-Feb-2011 | Hits: 552 |