Daedalus shows him how to shave,
Teaches where the razor glides smooth, shows him where his adam’s apple will grow.
It’s a simple task, one better late than never
Considering their first years were spent plucking birds from the sky,
Daedalus shows him how to stretch after removing his binder,
Says his lungs are a sensitive as wax.
Everything is malleable when it is warm.
Even your skin, especially your skin.
And the air, oh, the air is all you have sometimes.
Icarus is a hopeful man,
A naive man, a eyes-full-of-wonder man.
Painted denim jackets and frayed old t-shirts.
Whiskers and handmade bracelets, wind sails for linens.
Icarus is a man,
Because he’s older this time, because he makes it this time.
As this is a story not about falling, but a rising
His body is a testament to survival,
We talk about the long horizontal scars on his knees, his elbows, where pins and screws and metal plates hold his body together,
The twisted thing once desperate to fly.
That took years to finally move right again,
The one his father first taught to span wide once again,
And to fill a room without extracting other’s breath.
As this is not a story about dying, but living.
And boys can fly, if they really want to,
But they also plummet, and make wrong shapes on concrete,
But god, wasn’t that the closest they’d ever gotten to Holy?
And to run after it again, to leap over gaps and into pools,
To let boyishness turn into unprotected laughter,
The shriek that follows a fast rush of adrenaline,
The shaking head of a father who knows too well how long he will be in a cast after,
But lets him do it anyways because it’s better, god, than flying.
As this is not a story of flying, this is a story about running.
And sometimes running isn’t away, but forward.
Toward heat under his tongue, the warmth of a summer day on his skin.
And he needs a body beside him, with flesh to flesh
And flesh against his,
As this isn’t a story about flying, or dying, or falling,
This is a story about love
This is a story about overturned sheets and open curtains,
With reddish brown sideburns that are cursed to look blond in sunlight,
With eyes that crinkle when he smiles so bright.
Sometimes we wonder who really fell: him or the sun,
Or the wings themselves, desperate to save what little light the world had left.
Daedalus wipes a stray smear of shaving cream from his son’s neck.
Reminds him how to hold the needle, hands him the band aid after.
“Testosterone doesn’t fix broken bones.” Daedalus says, tapping the red cast over his wrist.
His son is staring out the window. His son. “I know.”
As this is not a story of love, but a lesson. And what it takes to learn it.