The barnacles sip ballast water
from port to port, shedding larvae in cascades
of tiny, glass-like feathers.

Starfish creep beneath the ice field’s
melt; above their chilled forms,
glaciers crumble
to the size of sugar cubes. Like the paper

oceans of a squeaky globe, the waves
smooth out, concealing depths
within a color field of Tiffany box green-blue,
a century of pesticides glossed
within a century of proposals.

The seawater should remember
what it holds. But like me, its gift
is forgetfulness. It loves with its whole mouth
open, full of sunlight and corpses
and glittering strings of eggs.

Bright passengers! I think of the light
in whose belly you are standing —
how the dead corals flare.

Katherine Larson is the author of Radial Symmetry (2011), selected by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. She holds degrees from The University of Arizona and the University of Virginia. In addition to writing, she has worked as a molecular biologist and field ecologist.