The Octopus

A thousand-year seesaw tilts across the night
as I wait by my hometown theater with Dad.
A line of black cars grinds through the snow.
Dad, a bit crazed, commandeers a limousine,
drives us to a factory at the edge of town.
We vault a fence, find a triangular room
where octopi twitch and sway on shelves,
on the damp floor.
A voice behind us asks

Do you know the significance of the octopus?

Could it be that we were descended from them?
, I venture.

No. They will inherit the world when we are gone.

This dream swam through my sci-fi-addled mind
a quarter century ago. Dad left this world in 82.
The theater closed last year, felled by multiplexes.
The octopus, snug in seaweed crevices,
continues its eons-long pulse towards reason
still blind to the destiny
poised within the orbit of its tentacles.

--Tony Hoffman


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