A World without Wings

(for those made to feel like they don’t belong)

You were wanted long before you were known, 
a perfect idea, a possibility.
Potential, that trickster god, 
can be a wicked thing. 
It’s not your fault that the question of you 
was easier to love
than the answer.

You were almost perfect, they said,
almost human,
almost enough. 
But between shoulder blades,
two tiny, feathered, folded wings — 
a whisper of the extraordinary,
a fantastic curse.

The others turned you over in their mortal hands,
and suddenly your existence bore an asterisk. 
You were a condition, 
a challenge — to be understood but not admired,
accepted but not wanted,
to be loved despite what you were,
but never because of it.

The world tried to love you in pieces,
but the rest of you stayed captive,
crippled beneath bindings and baggy clothes. 
They thought they could force you to outgrow yourself,
but at night you stood naked in the center of your room
and stretched your aching secret — 
pain and freedom have always been synonymous for you.

Once, you met a boy with wings like yours,
only stronger,
and lips like yours, only softer,
hovering outside your bedroom.
Promises of Neverland flitted around the room like fireflies,
but escaped through the window when he left.
The sky never felt like it belonged to you.

One day, he returned on foot,
a shawl upon his wingless back.
He said he was attacked by men 
afraid of the clouds on his shoulders, 
and the stars in his eyes. 
Two weeks later, he jumped from his window,
one last chance to fly.

They called him Icarus,
named him tragedy,
and so you learned not to wear yourself too proudly,
lest gravity condemn you for daring to defy it. 
Instead, you walk, prisoner of the earth,
always wondering if anyone you pass
might also be hiding deliverance between their shoulder blades.

But this is not the fate for which you were designed. 
You were not made to fear the sun; 
you were born of it, and shall return to it.
If they tell you that your loneliness
was written in the stars,
remind them that you are the only one
who can fly close enough to read them.

You need not be sorry that you are not ordinary. 
The Universe does not apologize
and neither should you. 
Remember, that the Earth is indisputably 
an inimitable and wonderful miracle — 
and despite this,
mankind has been unkind to Her too.
 
Get ready, stretch your wings, and breathe.
This will not be simple, but then, 
neither are you.
Do not let them make you afraid
of your own freedom.
They do not understand — 
the sky was the first thing that never wanted them.

Yes, it’s true, 
the world outside your window is filled 
with countless terrible things, 
but you…
you 
are not 
one of them.