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.
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,