Daedalus in Oxyana

By WILLIAM BREWER

Was an emperor of element within the mountain’s hull,

chewing out the corridors of coal,

 

crafting my labyrinth as demanded.

My art: getting lost in the dark. 

 

Now I practice craving;

it’s the only maze I haven’t built myself and can’t dismantle.

 

I gave my body to the mountain whole.

For my body, the clinic gave out petals inked with curses.

 

Refill, refill, refill, until they stopped.

Then I fixed on scraping out my veins,

 

a trembling maze, a skein of blue.

Am lost in them like a bull

 

that’s wandered into endless, frozen acres.

Times my simple son will shake me to,

 

syringe still hanging like a feather from my arm.

What are you always doing, he asks.

 

Flying, I say. Show me how, he begs.

And finally, I do. You’d think

 

the sun had gotten lost inside his head,

the way he smiled.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

William Brewer is the author of I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, forthcoming 2017), winner of the National Poetry Series, and Oxyana, selected for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, also forthcoming in 2017. Currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he grew up in West Virginia.

Julia PikeDaedalus in Oxyana

Related Posts

poetry feature

January 2019 Poetry Feature

MATTHEW GELLMAN
It was like a woman throwing off / her shawl at the end of an evening. / The way it dressed itself in moonlight. / The way it planted itself on the sill. / Settling against the glass, its head shook… / And each of its green muscles ticked / even closer to the end of its slenderest life.

vaudeville

Before Vaudeville was the Next Big Thing

MARC VINCENZ
So—in they slot and plop in their perfectly/ burnished 180-calorie-sandwiched-glory:/ a delectable mélange well-clothed in filigrees/ of dietary fibers, sodium, zero trans fat/ and generously acidic to keep the heebie-jeebies / at bay—(some, they say, reach as far as Antarctica