Brook J Sadler


I once watched you
on TV in a nature documentary,
your body swollen red,
fluid arms undulating
beneath your tumid head,
while I lay on the couch
and talked on the phone
to a girlfriend—
we were young then
twenty maybe twenty-five—
about orgasm,
how it could be elusive,
maddening really,
or sometimes come
surprisingly plural,
different from men,
we were honest, open
the talk intent.
Meanwhile your eight arms were groping,
twisted, bent.
Contained in a Plexiglass maze,
you wound your way through tubes and loops,
small circles of flesh on display,
the exposed undersides of your arms
pulling open and closed
with soft pale kisses,
your whole body pulsing,
sucking and inching
As the tubes narrowed,
your body elongated,
your iridescent skin sliding in,
your invertebrate head nudging
the aqueous medium.
The talk was intimate, close.
As if a silence fell all around us,
and our two voices from corded phones
drew through the slenderest distance.
You, otherworldly,
continued to move,
fearless in the face of the closest,
most confining of spaces.
Your form like wavering silk,
you spilled forth,
rubescent, silent,
your body finally slack
in an open pool.
We talked, too, of cunnilingus.
Oh, octopus,
with only the glass between us,
how strange to see you on the menu.


Brook J Sadler has published poems with The Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, and Ms. Magazine. She was named a recipient of the 2012 International Merit Award in Poetry by The Atlanta Review. She is a professor of philosophy at the University of South Florida.