Society of Icarus

Tonight the sun has crashed into the Tennessee River again:
like Jonah, it would rather drown
than share the word entrusted to it.
Meanwhile, neophytes for the Society of Icarus
in Shepherd Center’s ICU smolder in the titanium halos
that stabilize their broken necks,
obeying the constraints newly placed on them
by falls, car crashes, and ill-judged dives
(we paralytics have such respect for the laws of physics).
And here in another hospital,
my baby sister lies on a gurney,
reeking of and wreaking on the room
her seventeen years’ beauty;
four years to the day she becomes my DUI-victim twin.

That’s the problem with this world:
everything about it is true.
But she will walk again – her way of breaking the rules
(chalk one up for chaos theory).

I wonder, though, if there is not more wonder
in the norm than the exceptions.
The itch remains firmly planted in the bird’s eye;
the starling does not become a supernova in mid-flight.
Matter holds together and patterns keep punching the clock,
the wheelworks running on some unnamed fuel.
It seems a miracle that there are not more miracles,
that the seams don’t burst, apocalypse oozing out on every side.
The sun is a repentance artist,
and tomorrow we will find it vomited upon the shore,
soggy with bile and prayers.
That paragon of order out of chaos will emerge,
a steaming, screaming newborn from the womb,
eager to prophesy to a world eager for sackcloth and ashes.