portion of the artwork for Scott Beal's poem

the octopus makes unaccustomed shapes during the TNT halftime show
Scott Beal

the octopus has plummeted into a syndicated soap
where people really say things like    I still LOVE you
I’m just not IN love with you    the poor proprioception
in its arms makes it difficult to change the channel
but it likes basketball when it’s sad
so finds the Heat game and roots for them to lose

by the time they do these things are gone:  the contents
of a three dollar bottle of shiraz    any sound or motion
from the floor above    the certainty of its every speck of gravel
etched into the octopus’s excellent long-term memory
not hope    but a share of its invertebrate dignity
from scrunching itself into impressive contortions

to pass through imaginary holes
in invisible walls    two fingers
of amaretto it hopes the other won’t miss
not hope    per se    but the way hope held
the house around it    like a warm solution
through which one swam without a thought

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