Octopus Loves You

By Vanessa Cross-Napolitano

You first saw the octopus beckoning
from atop a lamppost; then it glued itself to the roof of your car,
its underbelly visible through the sunroof.

After a while it began to follow you,
passing things down from high supermarket shelves,
stoically catching the glass you knocked off the counter,
pick-pocketing lipsticks it knew you liked.

Now it strokes your hair as you fall asleep,
reading novels with two other tentacles,
adjusting the temperature
so that the room is perfect for you.

The dog eyes it suspiciously. What does it want?
It takes long baths, makes eight-egg omelets.
It's a fantastic dancer. And its reach!
For some reason you keep quiet. 

Your husband hasn't even noticed
and your children find it jolly. It juggles
in a way that hurts you,
that makes you want
to be a many-limbed silent creature yourself
elegantly doing everything, saying nothing.

Vanessa Cross-Napolitano is British and was born and raised in Yorkshire. She moved to California in 2006 after graduating from a poetry MFA program in Manchester. She has previously been published in other journals, most recently in ImpPress, but this is her first Californian publication.

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