"Lot and Daedalus"
by Ronnie Sirmans
(From Gargoyle issue 56)
His daughter heard the noise first,
certain of a knocking at the door.
Lot went to see. Though his eyes
amazed him at first, he had no doubt.
Lot invited them in, the two with wings.
The winged man and young boy did not understand
the language of the man opening the door.
Daedalus considered these people odd,
this city was not his home. Where had
the divine winds carried him and his son?
The strange man motioned for them to enter.
Human interaction did not require words.
”I am Daedalus,” he said
nonetheless. “This is Icarus,”
nodding toward his child still with wings.
Lot and his family did not understand,
but Lot knew angels spoke with the tongues
of Heaven. The white linen worn by the man
and boy revealed more flesh
than the folds and folds
of modesty draped upon Lot
and his wife and two daughters.
Daedalus asked if they might
rest for a moment, and he discerned
he was not understood. Nor did he
understand the woman’s whisper,
but Daedalus understood the caring
warmth of the smile from Lot’s wife
when she spoke in soft passion, “Angels.”
Daedalus could not make her understand
that they had fallen from the sky,
caught in a maelstrom in darkness,
with man-made wings now seared to skin.
He did not know how to tell her
that dreams and time were intertwined.
Daedalus wondered why he found
himself in this strange land.
Divine aphasia? Young Icarus said
nothing but followed Lot’s daughters
as they took him aside and stroked
his small wings, the feathers
black and white, sturdy but fragile.
Both families went to sleep, not knowing
that the gods did not abide love,
that one would lose his son,
that one would lose his wife,
and that their love stolen by the gods
(gods had the right to take everything)
would become stories told and retold.