before my wings melted, they were golden.
caught by the light, the feathers shimmered
before they pooled, before the kiss of hot wax
streamed down my back.
the branding of a hero: raw, red skin.
below me, i saw the sea, as deep-blue
as my father’s eyes, placid, serene.
i was not fated for death. i believe this even now.
i believe in my flight, in the great wings
that my father built for me. even now, i believe
i was destined for greatness, the way the light
gleamed along my jawline, marking me out
as a hero. what is the point of having wings
if you can’t fly close to the sun,
feel the light graze your arms like a caress?
what is the point if you can’t soar over the sea and
watch your reflection beckon to you,
sure as a wax seal on water?
why would i have wings if even
my flight was restricted,
if i was a prisoner in the sky?
looking back, i do not repent.
the sun gilded me before my wings melted;
the sea enfolded me in its warm, wet embrace.
i was returned to the earth, fallen,
but i was fated for life.
Pratyusha Prakash is a student of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh, but prefers to be called Pat as there are fewer mispronunciations of that. Her work has previously been published in private emails to her close friends.