The Octopi Jars

Long-vacant eyes
Now lodged in clear glass,
A-swim with pale arms
As delicate as angels’ …

You are beyond all hope
Of salvage now…
And yet I would pause,
No fear!,
To once touch
Your arcane beaks…

I, more alien than you
To this imprismed world,
Notice, most of all,
The scratches on the inside surfaces
Of your hermetic cells…

And I remember documentaries
Of albino Houdinis
Slipping like wraiths
Over the walls of shipboard aquariums,
Slipping down decks’
Brine-lubricated planks,
Spilling jubilantly into the dark sea,
Parachuting down, down through clouds of pallid ammonia…

And I know now in life you were unlike me:
Your imprisonment was never voluntary.

Originally published by Triplopia

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The Octopi Jars