Reasons I Am Not An Octopus I do not need three hearts, all in my head, pumping copper blues, one of them halting every time I slow to a crawl. And why would I let sex be a tragedy? I know where I stop and the swimmers caressing my soft body begin. When I enter small gaps, I expect to get lost. I will not live a life of solitude, hiding under the shell of a large coconut, changing color in hope that someone might notice. You do not have to wait for me to move to know I am not deadâ€” my blood runs fiery in my fist. I will not live outside of my body, feeling obliged to eat my own limbs because theyâ€™re going off in all directions like snakes coiling around anything warm. I tell you, I will not touch a human hand without wanting to. Do not seek comfort in me; I will not morph for you, let you spread me flat as a blanket. I have spent years growing these bones. I am not willing to leave this world a globular splat.
POETRY | 97
Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art selected for our 2019 contest issue.