As We Become the Octopus Who Eats its Own Arms


As We Become the Octopus Who Eats its Own Arms

We evolve language
for our expanding intelligence
and its cost.
We regenerate and eat again, 

curious shape-shifter, lord
of camouflage—exceptional
protection for tyranny
and sadism. If no one sees …

but each arm can see,
with senses yet indescribable.
Two thousand suction cups
perceive our most tender, 

blamed for their own
subjugation. Obliterated.
    Ever more, it is a good world
for the cruel. 

We flow copper-blued blood,
our three hearts almost
a conscience, even as beak
drills through another shell. 

Three brains know
we are not powerless
to do better. Speak. Witness.
Pray. Feel. Build. Give.  

We do.

And still,

one among us snuffs the warm breath.
of another. One of us suffers so much,
so unbearably much, because
one of us wants them to.

And many days, here in the tide pool,
it is all we can do
to love either one. 


Author: Kristan LeVietes

Photo: David Clode on Unsplash 


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