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A poem about Icarus, his fall, the monster that lived within the Labyrinth, and the monster that lived outside of it. Lines 61-65 are from "the lesson of the moth" by Don Marquis.

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You were in the first breath of

fresh air that I took when I

emerged from within the earth.

You shone bright as a beacon,

showing me my dreams and

the future that I could have

here out in this sunshine-filled

world where I can finally breathe.

You were the sun after a lifetime

spent within the darkness

and I am Icarus,

flying higher and higher towards you

with paper-thin wings,

praying with every ounce

of my being that the sharp teeth

of the raging winds won’t tear

them to shreds with their jagged edges.

I am flying towards the sun,

drawn to its brilliant beauty,

so unlike anything I have ever

known before in the torch-lit

caverns of a Labyrinth

too wide and deep and winding

to feel entirely safe within

the long walls of a prison with

a monster hiding inside.

I am flying towards the sun,

and it never occurred to me

to fear its warmth and light,

to fear its iridescence and life.

But the sun is a monster too,

a nightmare disguised as a daydream

in this illusion of freedom around me.

Instead of fearing the wind’s teeth,

I should have feared the sun’s love.

As I grow warmer, my wings grow weaker

and my freedom grows further away as

gravity sinks its claws in me once again,

pulling me back down towards waves

that will reach out and grab me,

saving me even as they drown me.

I didn’t listen to the warnings,

too drunk on the open air

to listen to the words of one who had

known the sun before and been left

behind in the darkness below the ground.

My thread was cut short,

the sun all I could see as I tumbled

head over heels through the air,

still in awe even as it killed me

with its welcoming embrace.

Now all that remains of my young body,

my paper wings and wax-coated feathers,

is the story of my fall and my foolishness,

used as a cautionary tale to those who would

give everything for a moment of the sun’s love.

I should say that I would change

what happened if I had a chance,

I should say that I have learned

from my final mistake in the end,

but in truth I would have rather

been happy for a moment and

been burned up with beauty

than to have lived a long life

and been bored all the while,

and that, I believe, is what

made me reach for the sky

and turn away from the earth.

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