“Icarus is not for us.
He flies and falls, that’s all. He doesn’t joke
to hide his fear, or seem ashamed…
He’s young and proud. He likes the sound
of his own voice. Of course the world must break
and scatter him among the falling birds.
It’s never him. His father, Daedalus—
he’s our muse, bent to an unforgiving craft
in someone else’s labyrinth, the dark
exile in which he sets himself to work:
letting the candles gutter so the wax
spills, seals vane and down at quill and shaft,
working longer into the thankless night…”
“The politeness, not leaving any butter in the jam,
or jam in the butter, or shoes in the hall.
Not leaving any residue of who did what. Not leaving,
for that matter. One glass of wine while I make dinner,
while I rub our cut of salmon with honey and salt,
you read me the news—our division of labor…”
the cold. Her cars. Her famously
My cousin Tommy once rode
a hundred miles on the floor
because he was too terrified to chance
a look out the window. Even my husband,
my new, second, husband,
whose calm, judicious nature
my mother and I both loved,
threatened to jump out the door
on her high speed town tour. The new city hall! The municipal pool!
My mother applying lipstick
in the rearview!…”