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Vampire Squid

by Charity Anastasio

The vampire squid—

who looks like an octopus

with a luscious red skirt—

will curl her lower body

up around her whole self

at the slightest touch

To scientists, she looks like

she is protecting herself

hiding her bluest eyes

and pretending to be a spiky ball

to me she looks like she is trying to fuck

rolling everything back and exposing

a vulnerable little hole to pluck and suck

The vampire squid

is a very sexy deep-water beast

the most gorgeous of reds

the most dreamy of sea dancers

undulating to and fro for the cameras

splaying long, hungry arms

to catch her prey up and feel about

She looks to me like a creature of lust

like a vixen who could never grasp

the meaning of monogamous

of restraint and honor and responsibility

and life

she looks down right devilish, forsaken,

decidedly loose

yet she is so, so alluring, I cannot

help but watch

If she was human

on this plane

I could imagine someone

making a film about

chaining her to a radiator

to teach her some manners,

(or self respect,

depending on how you look at it)

what does it say about me, that I

wished someone had chained me up?


Charity Anastasio has a day job is in legal and moonlights as a poet. Charity has been published in Bricolage and Sad Girls Club. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her family, and lives for those moments of overwhelming joy.

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