Modern Mythology: Icarus

“The pieces all fit together. Yet everything was falling apart.”

A Modern Icarus who drowns in the smoke that bellows from his lungs, and yet, somehow despite the flames that spill from his rib cage, he is bright enough to put the stars to shame, bright enough that children would make wishes on the embers that fall from his skin. Even his grin shows something of those flames, something never meant to live; his laughter is death-tinted, as if he knows he’s already breaking. He dances with galaxies, and just as they do, the brighter they burn, the closer they are to their end. No life has ever made its way into his bones, but the flames that transform his blood into ash, also shine in his eyes. He is a ghost to this world, sometimes people must glance at him twice, for they fear that his skin is translucent, but it is that light that continues to spread inside of his lungs that causes him to whisper in quiet tones, just for his ears, that this is only the beginning, there is starlight calling him, there is something beautiful waiting for him. Someday those phantom wings of his will reach the galaxies he has always known, and those flames will transform into the same fires that are given to falling stars.

vii. icarus

little boy, with your paper-kite wings
stake your heart into the earth and bind yourself
to the promise of your father’s faith

(too late; the sun is lush and warm
 brushing kisses all across your skin
 drawing your fragile heart towards the heavens
 and you are lost)

little boy, with your arms spread wide
you cannot speak for the seething of your spirit;
the churning darkness of the deep, deep sea. 

(too late; your eyes are brimming
with the light of a thousand galaxies
you raise you hands to meet the sky 
and you are blinded.
)

—  did the gods weep when they fed your body to the ocean // (e.c)