Have I told you the tale of Icarus?
How he and his father stepped onto thin air and flew,
flew from captivity?
Imagine the feeling, an air cushion beneath your chest,
gliding onto winds warm and buoyant as the Med,
floating on a cloud lilo. The ending?
Don’t worry about the ending.
Imagine the view, even better than from our perch
up here on the fourteenth floor.
Imagine the view as they soared above the turrets and towers,
the farm yards and factories.
I know it’s hot, my love. Keep away from the door.
We’ll press another towel along the crack.
I’ll not think of dark tentacles
of smoke stretching into your lungs,
clinging to, smothering alveoli,
forcing their choking passage
down your protesting throat,
a boa constricting, a black wolf squatting
upon your chest, pinning you to the scorching floor
as orange tongues stretch up
to lick black strips from your bare arms and legs.
What if we were Daedelus and Icarus?
Striding from the broken window
into that ocean-wide blue
to float above the tower blocks and touch down
safely on some golden meadow?
Hold me, darling. Hold your daddy.
Be brave and take my hand.
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Winner of the Writers Bureau International Poetry Competition 2010
Named Best Published Poem of 2011 by PK Publications