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  • Anna Godfrey

in a labyrinth, you look up

Asterion (the starry one) lays

on the sand-gritted floor of the third room

along the fourth southwestern corridor of his labyrinth

and he watches the stars

navigate their own maps overhead.


They did him one kindness, he thinks,

in neglecting to construct a ceiling.

Daedalus, that nervous and twitching old man who couldn’t look the Minotaur in the eye

as he drew, traced, and measured

a turnabout here, a dead end there,

an escape nowhere,

did him that one kindness

a long time ago.


Icarus, the son,

had done him a kindness as well.

He had taken Asterion’s hand

when the labyrinth was completed

and led him inside.

“We are not so different, you and I.”

he said, as Asterion was noting

the quality of the stone walls.


“How so?”


Icarus turned towards the glowing entrance

which was to be locked with

both of them on opposite sides

“You, Asterion, you have horns,

and I, wings.”

Asterion felt the boy’s empty back,

wondering if this was another human joke,

the meaning kept from him.

“I do not understand.”


And Icarus, who was slipping away

with the setting sun

into the cracks of the closing door,

pointed at his forehead.

“In here, my friend,

in here.”

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