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Christopher Bursk

Icarus

Veer. Swoop.
                Dive.
           Plummet.
Plunge.
The limited vocabulary
                of longing.
           When does knowing
that what he wants
                is impossible
           ever keep a boy
from wanting it? Wings
                Feathers
           Light. It's not the sun
that sends Icarus crashing,
                but the weight
           of all the ordinary
air on his shoulders, millions
                of molecules
           the vulgar
facts of chemistry, jealousies
                of physics.
           It's not flight
he years for, as much as
                the solicitude before
           and after,
his father's hopes for his soaring,
                his father's pity
           for his fall, Daedalus
bending over Icarus
                as if a boy's body
           was meant for more
than just taking out the trash
                or kicking a soccer ball,
           the man's hands
on the boy's shoulder blades,
                just under
           the boy's arms
stitching wings
                to the wings
           on the boy's back.