To Be An Octopus By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell

To Be An Octopus

Octopi have three hearts
A cardiac cacophony, syncopated with a rhythm
unlike our own.
A circulatory system interdependent on three different ways to love.

Some days, I think the only way to survive in the world
with all its sharp corners and its betrayals — round and slippery
as marbles and as treacherous in the dark —
is to become an octopus.

To learn to love in many different ways,
loves as tangled as mangrove roots and loves as straight and true as redwoods,
loves that are small and full of the future as seedlings.

Loves that are an a vein to yesterday, loves that are
an artery to tomorrow, loves that are a fleeting heartbeat in time,

gone in the next rush of blood and yet the deepest core of life.

The only way to live, I know now, is
to learn to accept and relish the climbing vine of my heart —

To cease detangling every creeper and every capillary and instead
water the flowers that are so ready to grow

By Jane Elizabeth Yarnell


Jane Yarnell is in her third year of a degree studying Sustainability and Biology at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has previously been published in Acumen, the Eunoia Review, and a few other places around the internet.

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