NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD NAME, M/DD Express %26 Inspire Development %26 Publication

George Higgins

Not Icarus

This was not as when Icarus fell.

There was no hubris.

The marines were strapped face forward,

looking through the hatch.

The pilot worked the controls with precision.

Nonetheless the blade uncoupled

with a great whack

as when a fan belt breaks loose.

Afterward, the ocean was as flat

and lusterless as mercury.

A lava lamp, fantastically slow.

I remembered these dead

when I saw the anemones

undulating and opening their senseless,

sensitive mouths.

They were rippling in the tide pools.

They were cool to eventuality, opportunists,


Also luscious,

brilliant in color,

mute, rhythmic, living.

Born in Detroit, George Higgins is a public defender in Oakland, California. He received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School where he studied with Robert Hayden, and an MFA from Warren Wilson College where he was a Holden Fellow. He is currently a Cave Canem Fellow. His book, There, There, was published in 2013. His first published poem, a villanelle, was selected for Best American Poetry 2003 by Yusef Komunyakaa. Other poems have appeared in Fugue, Lungfull, Nimrod, Pleiades, and Salamander

— posted FEBRUARY 2016

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