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The Common Octopus

The octopus has no bones,

the octopus has no voice.

Her mouth is in her armpit,

her body in her head.

She scarcely has a face.

Her eyes are purple squares

in domes with fleshy lids.

She spurts a purple cloud

and safe behind it flies.

She can be a tassel,

she can be a web.

Her hide is wondrous thin,

transparent at the tips.

Her arms are many many,

more fluid than a flame

and lined with sucking cups.

Wet she crawls through fire

or holes as small as dimes.

Color of the ocean floor,

color of the beach

or wherever else she lies.

What I cannot breathe she breathes,

where I cannot go she goes.

Her curling makes me shiver

when I should be moved to praise.

The octopus has no bones,

the octopus has no voice.

from Debt to the Bone-Eating SnotflowerFind it in the library

Copyright © 2013 Sarah Lindsay
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Poems Sarah Lindsay

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