Two Poems

His Fall Was His Escape

Wax wings unstrapped/floating between the waves for the ocean to melt/Icarus crawls dripping wet/wax stuck in salt soaked hair/mushy hard sand clenched in fists/deep enough under his nails they start bleeding/where is he not bleeding/His chariot disappears onto the horizon/where is He/He has to come/back pressed against rough soft sticky grains/that shit really gets everywhere/chest heaving/lungs might burst into ashes/throat rough from coughing up sea water and consequences

Eyes begin closing/darkness rings the bell for tea/delicious spread laid out/cucumber sandwiches and mini macarons to name a couple/the King’s way of life/Thanatos is laying down white tablecloth/but before the bell can finish/glowing Hands cup mortal flesh/golden Hair tickles against his face/bread and butter is more Icarus’ vibe anyway/tender burning/scorching kisses over closing wounds/probably enough blood to invent with/Icarus can finally taste the sky/even when his feet are buried in mud/laughs larger than the Labyrinth/scares off wildlife by/stomping gallivanting frolicking/flattens fields of wildflowers with his dances/freedom all at once makes you lose your shit/Apollo sighs in adoration

Daedalus is/fake mourning a fake dead boy/so the other Deities can have a good laugh/something to bring up over the next decade at family dinners/curses his son’s cleverness/once held exasperated grins alongside Artemis at/late night meetings/chattering and tiptoeing past loud royal entitlement/mouths leaving hickeys to remember in the morning/Artemis tugs at Him when Her shift is almost over/Him insisting just one more song to serenade with/the Day could wait but His paramour should never/now he smears honey at the tip of the conch shell/Cocalus applauds in reverence/but where is his son/where where where/is he okay/probably keeps the ant as replacement/Moon the only other company/though the dust in sunlight does enjoy winking at him/wonders if Icarus is dead/if he will ever die/Thanatos sets up tea once more/bell finishes ringing for the sleeping inventor/no Icarus found on the list

 

We Were There from the Beginning

We were there when Ganesha’s head was lopped off/Shiva’s swagger for His soldiers to pray to/they’d bow their heads to the ground for Him/not for their wives/we fucking cackled on the sidelines/what a dumbass/Devi Parvati came outside/tension rolling right back onto her skin/identical to the way Her Son’s head rolled off His shoulders/agony on Her face as She wailed at/Her Shiva/only confusion on His face/so typical of a Man/we brought out the popcorn/reclined back on the celestial equivalent of a futon/Shiva scrambles for a solution/Parvati cries/it makes Him uncomfortable in that/I never bothered learning how to take care of others’ emotions and now I wish my snake necklace could just strangle me/type of way

we didn’t even know that Deities could cry/no tears/just weird pained sounds/They must’ve learnt it from the humans/Shiva’s men watch on in shrugging shoulders/obviously/no solutions/bet at least a few of them had found a way to fault Parvati for it/especially when grief turns into anger and Her power makes the men cower on the inside/Shiva at least understands not wanting to cause too much of a scene/enough to order His men to find another head/should have been a divorce somewhere there/killing Your Son kinda feels like a red flag/but we’re not Deities/anger management issues must be more excusable for those types/brings back an elephant’s head/you’d think if you’d already beheaded a Boy/beheading a boy wouldn’t be that hard

anyways/Ganesha came out all the better for it/no trauma to be seen/maybe shoved in another dimension/stashed in His pockets/next to His laddoos/kept a dazzling smile for all/an aching kindness that probably weighed heavy on His bones/tusk in one Hand/ridges inscribed with Parents’ Wrath/who does that to a Kid/never forgets His Beginning/fitting for the Deity of Beginnings/fitting that He watches yours

 

Notes

We Were There from the Beginning was first published in Salient

About the author
Atlas is a high school student who spends their days trying to tell stories, whether it's their own or others'. She hopes to one day have at least one book of her poems out in the world and until then and even after that, he will keep writing as much as he can.