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Icarian


Gulls puncture the blue between
kites: translucent, cross-boned,

cellophane animals leashed
to each child's wrist.

Some unusual flyers: octopus,
brontosaur. A man taking Polaroids

alternates between his stumbling
toddler and a sea star

suckling basalt. The water endless
tics, trinkets of light. I soothe my palm

over sand, trying to erase
any evidence of our being

terrestrial. Matted feathers
barb the surface, nib my palm.

O cosseter, O caravel! I am fast
bound for far shores, already failing

to find the desired—anise,
apricots impossible in this soil.

As always, I'll spend tonight chastely
kissing our limitations, bunked

beside you, a board braced between
our radiant groins, my affection

folding into itself, into something
engineered to be unlikely

yet airborne—diamonds of tissue,
tape, and string, delicate

harness for the invisible,
variable currents. Beautiful

impediment. Everything given,
one way or another, a working wing.


Amy McCann

The Gettysburg Review

Summer 2013


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