I know how you tried to befuddle me
with that ten-legged head of yours—
how you thought you’d streak by
& ink me blind, but I see
how it is: I mean, once your penetrating-
obsidian eyes shone the ocean alive,
that cute little stunt of tucking back
your longest tentacles, as if you could

pass for being one of the girls, almost
like innocuous, trifling, bipedal me,
was glaringly obvious. I know your beak
was really poised from the start to strike—
to take my breath into your breath,
& crack open my sternum, & feast
on the still-thudding muscle inside me—
because motoring between my mere
two legs, primed to be torpedoed
with your mantle, until I tauten
like a caecum gorged on tiger prawns,
is the same jet-propulsion as yours
worked in reverse…

“Cephalopod” recently languished on a short list for an inordinate amount of time — poor guy — before ultimately being rejected, so I’ve just decided to share him! 

8 thoughts on “Cephalopod

  1. Well, I sure like “him”! And those shortlists – yeah, it seems a bigger drop after the tantalizing possibility not just of a win, but of publication. I sympathize! And aren’t we the lucky ones now, feasting on your wordsmithery (hah – is that a word?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol! I don’t know what possessed me — I’m usually much more enamored in this way by birds… This guy is like enormous, I think, though there are smaller versions of him out there. I once read a futuristic science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter, in which a squid was trained to go on an asteroid mining mission. The chapters involving her were written from her perspective, and it was awesome!


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