Icarus, Plate VIII: Matisse

Picasso said you have sun in your belly,

you have said your colors sing.

Bedridden as a child, you began to paint.

And later, crippled and dying,

you cut out shapes from colored paper

while your grown daughter was taken, tortured by Nazi's.

Some say your black bodied Icarus is charred 

his gold is gunfire, his red is blood.

Some say your Icarus falls for human frailty, a father's hope. 

But, how can this be? Your daughter escaped.

Perhaps your Icarus is not falling

but is suspended by blue

his golden feathers, have melted into stars,

his small red heart, a capillary of Sun.

Outside my window, the wind is gusting,

the trash can's tipped over;

the lid is rolling down the road,

debris and paper fly.

Inside this house, the power's gone out,

the children are laughing

downstairs; lighted candles illuminate UNO cards,

my daughter dips her fingers into melted beeswax,

an overflowing votive drips down the stereo speaker.

Everywhere — there is color and noise.

Tell me, do we retain only what cannot be seen? 

There are days, when I throw myself into the wind.

I want to live with nothing left over, especially words. 


Kristin Laurel owes her passion for writing to The Loft Literary Center (MPLS) where she has studied for the past eight years and completed a two-year apprenticeship in poetry in 2011. Recent work can be seen in CALYX, The Mainstreet Rag, Grey Sparrow, The Raleigh ReviewThe Mom Egg, Apeiron Review and many others. Her first full-length book, Giving Them All Away, won the Sinclair Poetry Prize from Evening Street Press (Dublin, Ohio).