Our mascot was the bulldog. Bulldogs chased me across playgrounds
until I dreamed them. In class, I finished mazes with a green crayon.
Hedges grew skyward from pages, and I ran. My dad once called
this kind of thing my day-head. When my day-head happened,
they called him at his office. I learned the name Daedalus from an article
I read for science class. It meant a plane with leg-powered wings —
carbon tubing, plastic skin. A man with a long name flew a longer way
across the sea from Crete. At recess, I reread the same book
of illustrated myths and cryptids. I dreamed of bulldogs with bulls’ heads.
My day-head was a zoo where gods slept. Daedalus sounded like dad,
so I loved him. Class was an enclosure made of cinder block
and twelve weeks without winter. Behind the glass, my day-head paced.
Daedalus was a zookeeper. I dreamed of a god with a bull’s body
and a hood sewn from my face. The article said I weighed the same
as the Daedalus. I traced flight plans and crash sites on my desk.
My teacher asked us to draw self-portraits. The trees were hydras.
On the paper, I drew an outline of my face. I cut my eyes out
with scissors. They called me to the office, and Daedalus was waiting.
I found a bulldog in a magazine and drew a maze inside each iris.
We played tug-of-war in gym. My day-head was a knotted rope
dangling from steel rafters. I pushed my thumb into the sun. I fell once.
I cut the bulldog from the page, then ripped his head in two.
I glued one half over the left side of my face. I left the right side blank.
The article said the Daedalus crashed twenty-one feet from the black sand
of a beach on Santorini. My day-head was a Kevlar fuselage
belly-down in the sea. They called home. I ran home.
On the right side of my face, I drew a sunny day. I signed my name.