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.

Daedalus in Oxyana

Related Posts

Image of objects under shards of broken glass.

Dey

STEPHANIE DINSAE
A young child, I was privy to hearing this word / in my household, around my uncle and his friends / reminiscent of his schoolboy youth. / A part of a pidgin I could never participate in / for fear that the broken English might / have too much of an essence...

hashem beck

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Wait

ZEINA HASHEM BECK
I take photos of the skin on my thigh, the side of my breast, / my arm, my calf, my belly, & send them to friends. See? / They reassure & recommend doctors. My mother suggests / baking soda mixed with oil or water, rosewater perhaps

An image of Castro Street in San Francisco

Castro Street

PHILLIP WATTS BROWN
As through a prism, the city shifts / to rainbow. We cross into technicolor, / the famous marquee lipstick red / against blue sky.