My poem lengthens and contracts
like an octopus,
an invertebrate able to squeeze through
small openings or fill large cavities.
My words inside their colorful bonnets
swell and subside
and trip over one another
as I attempt to give them spine.
Like an octopus,
arms of my poem
their reach flopping in all directions.
I try to anchor these unruly appendages
with curved muscular words
that grip like suckers
as they explore, taste, manipulate.
When my poem cries out for bed,
arms tucked in under a sheet and blanket,
I kiss it goodnight
only to find an arm or two already slipped out.