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The Press 16th Annual Student Poetry Project: High School, First Place: icarus retold

icarus as a love story

icarus as a boy, young and in love and

fallen not from grace but

into the depths of it.

icarus as a boy who fell not because of his

arrogance but because he

wanted to. because he had spent

his whole life holed up in the dark, so

what could make him feel

more alive than a single moment of blissful

freedom, so

pure that it has never been

shared by another man.

what could he long for more than apollo’s

tender kiss, for

his rays to shine bright upon his pale and

dull skin, for his flesh

to prickle at the freezing rush of

wind flying past him,

for the sweet and merciful burial found

in poseidon’s deep.

father, forgive him, but icarus

was in love.

boy grown in shadows and boy slain by sun.

sometimes you spend your whole

life wishing for

something and never even get

to taste it.

sometimes you die with dreams hollow and

moth-eaten in

the back of your heart.

icarus swallowed his dreams whole.

juice running sticky and

sweet down his bony fingers,

a boy so starved

that he ate the whole world. (his eyes were

always bigger than his stomach)

he sits at apollo’s feet now, sun-kissed and

tanned and

happy and tired of

being painted as the fool.

he did what so few had the courage to do,

and devoted himself

entirely to that which he longed for.

icarus as the boy

who never learned how to

do things half-way.

the boy who was told to stay between the

sun and the sea and instead he touched

both. who was

told to stay afloat

so he drowned himself in the tides of

his desires,

woke to apollo’s beaming face and warm hands, saying,

“i was trying to give you something better.”

and icarus cups the god’s face.

he is not

afraid because he does not know how to be.

apollo glows warm.

icarus traces his dark cheekbone,

says, “what could be better than this?”

and he speaks the truth,

for now he sits in apollo’s concert halls, has

heard a thousand


been the subject of millions of poems,

boy made of marble and boy carved into

stone. boy of sun and sea and sky.

icarus flew not

to run away but to run towards something

intangible, something he longed for.

father thank you

for the wings but your son is made of


icarus flew for

love, love,

the whole time,

it was for love.

Avery Lynn

Age 17, Grade 12

Freedom High School

Bethlehem Area School District