? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 6

Poetry

George Higgins

Kilauea


She led me down a crooked stair
to the dank entrance and
held my hand while

we walked through the center
of a dead flow, walls tinctured
with green lights. Someone read

that the surface hardened
while its core burned hot.
I imagined the black glass knuckles

overhead, a fist of plowed furrows.
Though I couldn’t see its end
my eyes followed the trace

of wires roped from light to light
clipped up above the pitted floor
You came to a stop; I watched

your face turn green and then dark
as you examined the curved walls.
Did we stop to take photographs,

sit our baby down,
her knee covered with ash?
Or was something lost,

Robin’s tortoiseshell barrette
fidgeted through her fingers?
I cannot now remember.

When I walked down to the beach
of black sand with you,
we watched the snow-like plume

of poisoned steam dissolve into the mist
that rose and fell above us like a fine net.
The pent-up gas flew from the sea