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Falling, and How do you leave someone who won’t even look you in the eye? by Amber Louise Horne


Icarus fell for the sea, found that waxed wings were too

heavy, winced at blisters formed on his shoulder blades. 

Icarus tried to carve shavings off the ends, pluck white

faux feathers from divine intervention. Icarus didn’t 

even like flying. He loved to fall. Icarus knew he was

a candle in waiting. When the sun called him up with

brightness and warmth, Icarus saw a way out. The sun 

beckoned and melted and freed Icarus to the sea. Salt

can sting and soothe all at once but it is cleansing. The 

sea caught him in its vast arms and cooled his singed

head and kissed away the burns on his back. Icarus fell

asleep in the sweet push and pull of the midday tide. He

would never see land again and he was happy. Salt coated

his eyelashes and lips. The sea fished his heart out. 


How do you leave someone who won’t even look you in the eye?

Sometimes I think Eurydice had forgotten 

how to feel lonely. She’d forgotten how 

to miss Spring. She’d forgotten how to 

miss the kiss of a boy whose lips knew 

singing better than kissing. Maybe she 

begged him to turn around. Maybe he 

didn’t want to hear her screams. Maybe 

she thought she would burn in the sunlight. 

Maybe she was scared. Maybe Orpheus 

would still only know how to be a musician.

Maybe he would still fail to understand 

that she tuned him, she was the resin 

to his strings. She left nail marks in his 

shoulder from trying to drag him from 

the light to face her for a moment.


Amber Louise Horne is an undergraduate student at the University of Worcester, studying English Literature and Creative Writing. For two years running, she has competed with the University’s team at UniSlam, where she has placed in the semi-finals. She has been published in Small Leaf Press’s magazine Jaden.


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