Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Downfall of Icarus

Icarus is busy making plans in an effort to offset his fear of becoming invisible. He believes, these days, that transparency is furtive, unworthy. He is melding high thoughts with hopes of eternity gilding his veins. In short, because nothing is ever the shape it suggests, he has persuaded his father into building them some wings.
Daedalus writes down the formulas for flight in a secret script of broken mathematics. He sends Icarus out to rob the bees nests for honey and wax. Under a teal sky at evening time, Icarus returns home, following the cold scent of melon on the air, to find his father constructing the vast angelic wings. They grin which gives them both the understanding that there is no business between them but the grave business of living. It is so because they believe it is so. But Daedalus is uneasy. He knows his son, extracts from him the promise not to go too high. These structions of wax and keratin cannot hold for long, he says, and Icarus nods, greedy to get on with it. He'd be patient if he had more time.
The morning dawns with a soft light. At last Icarus stands framed in the doorway and hooks his arms through his bright wings. He moves out, launches himself into the fabric of the air. Balloons of nectar billow beneath his wings. He is moving through a miraculously perfumed light in sweet cold disobedience. The sun calls him into the scarred sky. Tiny cracks, hairlines, barely visible, begin to appear in his wings. The day is pitched too high and the dials in his glass heart are flickering chaotically as he begins his spiralling fall, and suddenly Daedalus is alone, knee deep in shivered feather and the broken body of his boy and the whole world vibrating with grief.

1 comment:

Morven said...

So beautiful and sad. We know that he is doomed from the start and we sympathise as we all need to fly. Lovely piece.