Twisted Myths

They say I took the most beautiful dream in the world and destroyed it. Burned it up and my useless life right along with it. I got exactly what I deserved, what Pride throws out to everyone who fails. Death and shame.

No one remembers we were trapped there too, blind and starving for the open sky. They said, “Give us your magic or else.”

Or else.

Bloody feathers on the floor. But our wings didn’t break and we flew away and YEAH after eons of darkness I flew, unbroken, into that radiant sunrise.

Now they tell you my story with a warning: don’t break the rules or you’ll end up like me. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up like me, don’t get too close to what you love the most or you’ll end up just like me.

Now, because of me they tell you to be cautious, be wary, be afraid.

Remember the stories of the heroes Bravery and Hubris brought safely home? Remember those beloved by the gods? Those who tasted victory instead of defeat?

My story is not their story.

They tell you: never reach for more than what you are capable of catching, never strive to become your dreams.

They do not tell you my only dream was freedom.

*

Photo Credit: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Enemy

A monstrous smile

moves in the wildness;

you said: get the quick

victory. Take me on faith.

Lost people remember

the fire, the starlight,

the luminous morning moving

in the darkness.

You keep talking; you

Need me doing like I’m

told. I didn’t

really think of

the subway, music

like red fire, the world

looking like the enemy.

*

This poem was first published in The Found Poetry Review under the name Jessica Otto and was re-published in Lupercalia.

Found poem source: pages 89, 146-7 of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.