the ghost of icarus

the ghost of icarus resides in you, nestled between the gaps of your ribcage, a subtle presence on the sleeve of your heart. it haunts you between atriums and ventricles and builds a grave atop your dead hopes and dreams.

the first time it hits you hard, like a baby bird gifted with curiosity and a pair of light-feathered wings, ready to see the world but not ready to experience it in its entirety, so you fall. you got distracted by the glimmer of false hope that reflects off the surface of waters below and that was the day you learn not all that glitters is gold. because the next thing you know is that light starts to fade from your line of sight and you plunge into a cold, dark sea of disappointment. it tastes of salty tears and bitterness, and you promise not to choke ever again.

the second time you bite the dust of a sea bed. you’re positively sure there was something pulling you towards it, the glowing ball of warmth that seared your feathers, burnt them to a crisp and ashes scatter below like a funeral for your reincarnated self. it was so captivating, an image of a bright future shimmering before you like a mirage, but it is fated for the sun to stay untouchable, deceivingly welcoming.

you think back to your father’s words and regret everything as you’re falling, wondering why you didn’t follow in his footsteps. it is a safe path, heavily trodden to clear the rubble and creaking twigs, softened by hardships endured by someone else who has carried the weight of your life for 17 years now. but there is no time for reflection, because the guilt has filled up in your lungs and anchors you like a deadweight. you dramatically sink to the bottom, as your last breaths rise to the top in bubbles, slow motion.

they say three is the charm, but life doesn’t always work out the way it does in fairytales. this myth you’ve been living plays out in plain sight, like a broken cassette tape that skips upon its own repeat to the point of a habitual occurrence. you get sick of routines, predictable tragedies, the same hell brought upon you continuously and you feel the dread swirl in your stomach like the waves around you.

but this is what we are destined to live through, cycles after one another. it is about finding the middle of nowhere, to fly but be grounded, a balance of tipping scales. because even baby birds learn to one day rule the skies after falling and there’s always someone waiting at the shore, with open arms and a lifebuoy.

we are all walking myths, legendary and phenomenal, like the gods used to be. even though if we are merely mortals, the world is ours to keep and the skies are just within a leap. a leap of careful faith, with our eyes open and our wings half-closed.

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