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

Food

Imitation

JONATHAN FINK
The eating is like make-believe, a game / of imitation—sawdust pressed between / two hands becomes a pancake; soup pots steam / with buttons, leather. Call your mother’s name, / and she will search for food for you...

Three black hens standing in a row behind a wire fence

Stickfast

JOHN KINSELLA
But maybe the fleas still had occasion to visit the toxic pit, the sump, and sample the cocktail of chemicals hustling over their iniquitous reactions. Maybe they were Frankenstein fleas, fleas with disturbing powers?

Restaurant

At Dinner the Lady We Are with Makes a Joke about Mosquito-Borne Illness

SARAH CARSON
Someday we might also be that woman, or another woman, two women not on this side of the locked door, trying to contain ourselves, to keep the world inside the walls we’ve imagined hold us in. But tonight we are here. Tonight we are so unbelievably us. Tonight we are going to be just fine.