POETRY

DIAL TONE

Icarus calls to say he wants his wings back. 

You skin them into an offering, depositing them 

on his stoop like a hunter bearing 

its prey. You had no use for them anyway, those pretty man-made

 

flights. Icarus lets the gap close like a shut 

 

eyelid, and you are all too keen on his lips. No, 

that isn’t right. 

Not 

everything is 

a story. 

You thieve gravity and anything that can be consumed: 

 

messages. Past lives. Backfire 

singing make-believe on shoulder 

blades. Icarus was always bird-boned, still 

born in mid-flight. 

In this story, he pops out a wound, 

already waxed and feather-slick. 

All the bodies you count 

are his. So forgive yourself 

if you cleave Icarus’s wings 

and leave behind the polished bone. You fly

like this: calling out with smiles trailing teeth. And Icarus marries

 

you to gravity—no, that isn’t 

right. 

This 

is not 

a story is not 

belonging? 

Even offerings do not ask 

to be returned.

Dana Blatte is a sixteen-year-old from Massachusetts. Her work is published or forthcoming in Fractured Lit, Rust + Moth, Gone Lawn, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and more, and has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation and the Pulitzer Center, among others. Find her hyping up her friends on Twitter @infflorescence.