portion of the artwork for Scott Beal's poem

the octopus remembers its daughter’s preschool teacher
Scott Beal

how she would tell the kids    when they pushed
too many things at her to hold    does it look to you
like I have octopus arms?    she wasn’t being insensitive
she had no way of knowing the Monday Snack Parent
would one day be an octopus    or how each sucker tastes
everything it touches    think of the moist rags and crusted trucks

(as it shudders now at every stubbed butt and crumpled tissue)
it finds having eight arms little help with juggling
priorities    rarely knows where all its arms are at once
only the viscosity and grain of each’s local environs
clammy skin or tacky concrete    and whether one or another
is strung taut    but can’t piece these impressions

into any bigger picture    its brain isn’t made to process
this kind of problem    it finds the futon with its eyes
to settle in for another night    props the laptop
to express the range of turmoils eddying inside it
watches one tentacle tip extend toward the keys
and tap clumsily and again OHH GOD OH GODD


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 46 | Fall 2015