My son, striving Icarus, lovesick
unendingly, sweating, forlorn,
with a voice that blats
suddenly, flawed like the horn
of a blatant new model,
your eyes hold the glare
of brash lamps, far too raw
for the delicate sharpshooter air
that you, too, want to dare.
Do you hope to achieve there a cure
for that acne, calm for knock-
knees, a wingsbreadth secure-
ing your future, painting the sky
with a stammering streamer of words
ordered like literature?
Don’t pretend you’re a bird;
leave the ego to me!
Shield your eyes from the sun
and stick home with your mother,
your chin furred with crumbs
in the sprawl of her apron,
nestling and croaking. Watch on TV
how I work with contraptions
to outwit my weight. Systematically
concentrating, I’ve derived a
balance, through certain regimes,
that lightens my body, thoughts
that surpass even mechanical means

and my mind, so encouraged,
now strains to glimpse god.
Work at your visions at
home, boy, while you applaud

your old man at his business, willed
airward by nerve. When you’ve found
control easy you’ll earn the large curve:
the arc of the eagle must be deserved.
by Kathleen Spivack