VS: fell wings.

When Icarus Stood on the Sun

For Chuck

Nerve signals leap inside his helm
like the last murmurs of a lightning storm. Somewhere far away he thunders.
He must transform, whisper surgical masks, or he’ll die. He’ll transform.
Folds. Folds doubled on folded sheaves of folds. Folds inside his helm; folds that cradle
his mind; folds
of mind were beaten
flat. Hungry flesh erupts from folded-ivory shoulder blades, blades
that ought to peel and bubble with the heat.
They radiate instead; like fans of collaged from igneous slate.

He will ascend as he pleases.
No blaze will erase him.

His folded wings are growing.

As feathers are draped about the shoulders of a warrior, rid of their chemical yoke,
his footsteps are lighter, unfolding.

He is Icarus with better wax.
He will ascend as he pleases.
No bright light could erase him.


Fencing, Prone

For Matt

Why do the fun
house mirror numbers
of one-hundred Summer
St. spoon-cook a clear
sky brown? Reflected, I see
you in a pinhole camera,
lines measure footwork;
foil flowers adorn your hair.

When did you first spot that
train-spotted tunnel
and brittle rails?
Tracks mark the moment
when you lunged
forward. Pitted like cork
in the dim, how can
such a fine point
sip with its lips
pressed thin?

Why didn’t you
take your vault
and spring up and over that
dun autumn mountain?
It’s only a pile of dirt
in a square foil.

I’m only curious: why
did you have to
fence facedown?
You counted
more I love me not’s
before the needle
spritzed up to kiss
it better and you smacked
your head
when you feinted.
Touch! says the foil,
bright and slick with kill.
Your skin was
colorless as an autumn moon.

You could see just fine
through closed pupils
to your mosquito
dotted sleeves, you, you
too heart thirsty
for riposte
not to score
just once