You take one step too far and lose your hold,

or walking backwards, you're suddenly aware of the weightlessness beneath you,

the wide expanse of forest, ocean, air, earth, and stars above.

It's elusive. The octopus can compress itself into a tiny crevice -

a liquid animal like warm lips down the spine or on the back of a knee -

she has nine minds, but lacks self-awareness after making contact.

It's as flexible as it is strong, and that's a gift

until the tension becomes a trampoline for someone to bounce himself back,

throttling against her backbone because he knows she'll hold him up.


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