Eleven

Icarus is sitting on the sun.
It's hot up there, but at this point
he thinks the irony is definitely
worth the risk of sunburn.

 

He wonders what his father would say

if he could see this.
He'd probably be disappointed,
after all he was warned about getting too close
and well, can't get much closer than this.

 

It's not exactly what he was expecting
but the view is pretty magnificent.

This high up, you can see so much of everything
that you lose all the details
in favor of a broader perspective
and he likes that.
It makes anything seem possible.

Twelve

He wakes up late every morning
to mix batter and pour oil
ready sugar and power up the drinks fridge
his 11am ritual of stinging sweetness.

The motors do most of the work for him
saving him a wrist strain that he's started to miss
since wooden spoons went out of fashion.

It's a family run business
so when summer comes his son spends his holidays
making doughnuts and candyfloss
to a soundtrack of gull-calls and footsteps.
At least that way he knows where he is,
doesn't have to panic when the papers tell him stories

of young men looking for their identities
in the oil-spill of city streets.

When the winter comes he moves back to the city,
chases the people back to tangle of concrete
and electric heaters where he can offer them warmth
and comfort - sweet and deep-fried.

Thirteen

He is trying, in spite of the obvious flaws in his plan,
to run a Voidt-Kampf test on his best friend.
He's seen Blade Runner probably one too many times at this point
and has begun to doubt the humanity of other people.
It's not that he thinks his friend might be a robot
-that would be absurd, obviously-
but he keeps noticing the way other people tick over differently to him
the way they describe the sky with words like
'blue' and 'clear'
when he prefers words like 'Pearl'.
He's not sure that other people see the same things he does,
has started to mistrust the refraction of lenses
to tell us all the same truth about the world
and, if he's being honest,
thinks other people might all just be a trick that god is playing on him.
So he runs his test
and even though his friend is humoring him he's starting to wonder
if maybe he shouldn't be running the test on himself.

Fourteen

I've never been one for fishing really,
but this was a special occasion.
We went out dressed in confidence
and a party atmosphere
which felt like an intrusion in the still water there.
We hauled our hopes over the side of the boat
on the end of lines we'd written in our sleep
wound about poles we wielded like pens
because writing was the closest experience we had
to angling for truth in the middle of nowhere.
We thought we were in familiar territory
because we never expected to catch anything
just cast ideas into the water to see if they floated
but three hours in and we started to get a tug.
It was the first sign that anything was alive in that lake
that wasn't us
and we instantly set about panicking.
None of us had done this before, not with our arms
and our abdomens
so we struggled wildly with the kind of passion
only novices can bring
and somehow, between us,
managed to haul something new from the water.