I wish that I was Daedalus. Traveling in Central America. All these people, the bars on their windows, the cages around their homes, barbed wire and broken glass. I would build them wings, so they might rise, but they would say, Are you crazy? The sun is too bright here, we would plummet, dripping wax.
The poor here, the poor on the streets of Winnipeg. Poor everywhere. I would build them wings, but they would say, Leave us, we are tired, we are hurting no one. What use are wings? Can we eat them? Sell them? We are tired, let us sleep. Can they clothe us, save our bones from the wind? We are clinging to the world, trying not to float away, and you bring us wings.
Later, swimming in the Caribbean, talking to fish. They tell me the seas are dying. I would build them wings, I say, but they laugh their bubbling laughs. You must be joking. Keep your wings, put them on planes, fly to Mars, pretend there is escape. You are always trying to change things. Are you never happy? Keep your unhappiness to yourself. Leave us, let us die in peace. Give us silence, show respect. You talk of wings.
I wish that I was Daedalus. Walking through ruins, civilizations gone, murdered, driven to suicide. I would build them wings, so they might fly from their graves, fill the sky. But they would say, Where are you, who is speaking? Who talks of wings? We cannot see them, we do not feel them, we have no bodies now, no way to hold them. We are dust and screams. Our dreams are gone now, our desires and our memories. What are wings?
Then, there are my words. I would build them wings, if I could, if I was Daedalus. Would they soar, say the things I want to say? No, they would fly away from me.
And my friends. I know that they cry sometimes, that they feel trapped, bound to earth. If only I was Daedalus. But I wish for so much, so many things.
All this time I’ve wasted. May it come flying back to me.