The Boy's New Body
by EMILY SCHULTEN
Imitate the curves of birds’ wings
I say in the surgeon’s ear
as they push my brother past, ready
to make space in his body for part of mine.
The doctors carve the moon into both of us,
crafting two bodies that will move instead of one.
Icarus didn’t plan for wings, or build them
feather to feather, hands sticky with wax and mind busy
with plans for escape. His father did that for him.
Daedalus wouldn’t go on without Icarus.
Somewhere, though, between fire and water,
mortality had less meaning than soaring,
and the boy’s new body fell back into its natural parts,
the stitches undone, the craftsmanship of man,
inventor or surgeon, succumbs, rendering the body
useless, another drop into the sea.
EMILY SCHULTEN is the author of Rest in Black Haw (New Plains 2009), a collection of poems. She will complete her doctorate in poetry at Georgia State University in May and is the current poetry editor for New South.