portion of the artwork for Scott Beal's poem

the octopus looks at a tree and thinks tentacle monster
Scott Beal

the pure shrug of latent destruction    each arm
uncoiled toward some wind-ripped barge-cut
surface leagues above    where heaven is
a stormfield spread atop the undermurk
each    limb    raised to the apex of its parabola
as if to sweep back and crush and bind

and not to cradle a face    not appearing capable
of streaming out leaves and shimmying
through seasons    what the hell    the octopus thinks
to step into the yard and face one’s petrified mirage
its radial symmetry overblown and frozen in the pose
of all the damage it might have done

the octopus is small before it    would fit
inside it    refuses to step toward it    cannot imagine
touching its skin    when the octopus holds very still
you'd never know    how far it has come
to be forgiven    what it can do
to the shell of a mollusk    what it has left to rot


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