Rijksmuseum, 2012


by J.D. Isip

Cornered in one frame is a study of falling
Phaethon and Icarus in various angles
making the same plunge

Reached because they wanted sight past
horizon where wiser eyes, wiser hearts
tether us to the seen

Yet an ounce of god-blood or will would rather
crash into the impossible than live
plodding the probable

Cupid, where the winding staircase ends,
holds a finger to his smiling lips
“This will be your master”

He says of the arrows at his fingertips. Feeling
like this is a picture moment, with no one
to take the picture, I know

Something of all the various angles of falling,
why painters, and sculptors, and poets
are always pocketing feathers

First appeared in Coldnoon: Travel Poetics 3.1


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