I Was Icarus
by Ulrich Berkes
Issue no. 106 (Spring 1988)
It must have been a hot summer back then, when I could fly.
I was maybe seventeen.
My room was on the ground floor, facing the back.
Night after night I lay on the bed and imagined myself flying.
That was a strain, I tell you.
Usually I’d lie perfectly still for an hour before my body rose from the bed.
Very slowly I rose, until I hovered a meter or so off the floor.
Then with swimming strokes I propelled myself through the open window.
Outside I flew higher and higher, over the garden fence, over the clothes-lines, over the roof tops and the apple-trees on the outskirts of town.
The entire flight I felt the wind’s touch on my skin,
and sometimes I heard voices, calling.
—Translated by George Kane