Poem: Icarus at the Beach

At 12, I rode my first dirt bike.
Don’t go too far, he said as he
Helped me coordinate the clutch
And throttle and set me down
The beach. I could have turned.
In theory, it should have been easy
On a flat and empty beach,
But what does a boy with this
Kind of power for the first time
Know about turning back?

No one had explained this part,
And I just held on and kept
Twisting the throttle till
The sand seduced me,
And I helplessly sank under
A bike I had no chance of lifting.

And my angry Daedalus came stomping
Across the sand with furious reminders
That I had been warned. I had been
Told not to go too far.

And I imagine Icarus soaring higher
With no idea how to govern either
His speed or altitude—driven
By equal parts exhilaration and terror,
Waiting only for the comforting
Embrace of Poseidon,
The father who never
Lets us out of his grasp.
The father who can’t let go
And smothers us with love.

ocean under cloudy sky
Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com