by Jesse Loren

Consider Icarus as a woman pasting wings on
Testing her harness and the snugness over breasts
And think of that flawless moment before the yawn
When she tires of waiting for the rest.

Think of her there above obelisk and spruce
Coasting above the small men scything down below
Her latched bindings slip and become loose
Her internal timing races and then slows.

She is circling above the town picking out the strong
Glancing to the corners of every lawn
A trickle of blood spills out between thighs
The blind sun melts wax into her eyes

Consider Icarus as a woman pasting wings on
Consider the tedious boredom of kite string and tumbling down.

Jesse Loren is originally from East Los Angeles and is currently rooted near Davis, California with her family and chickens. Her poetry can be found in Exquisite Corpse, Yawp, New Virginia Review, and Screamin’ Meme, her first book of collected poems. Ms. Loren co-edited two anthologies of poetry; Mourning Sickness, a collection about miscarriage and infant death, and Bombshells: War Stories and Poems by Women on the Homefront, a collection of homefront tales spanning from WWII to the present. Loren is a graduate of UC Irvine, and MFA graduate of UNO, and is a frequent columnist at iPinion.

Editor’s Note: Typically I don’t go in for rhymed poetry, but when Ms. Loren sent me poems for consideration for As It Ought To Be, this poem struck a chord with me. In Judaism the term “midrash” is used to describe a story that is created by opening up an existing story. With this poem Loren creates a midrash of sorts – opening up the story of Icarus to allow for another new tale. The tale of Icarus as a woman, a story that has feminist undertones, that explores the trials and tribulations of being a woman under the lens of a beloved mythological tale. This poem is clear and imagistic, and takes us on a journey on the wings of one who both has the opportunity to fly, and learns what it is to fall.

Want to hear more by Jesse Loren?
Buy Screamin Meme at
Jesse Loren’s Blogspot
Exquisite Corpse

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Managing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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  1. Lezlie says:

    It’s hard to do rhymed poetry well, but this works. As always, enjoyed your editor’s notes!

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