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,
They were rippling in the tide pools.
They were cool to eventuality, opportunists,
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