A Poem to Remind Myself of the Natural Order of Things
You are of a mind, a reiteration
along a different branch—our nearest,
shared relative: a flat worm.
You are in a jar, your tentacles both
of themselves and you, spinning the lid
from inside. O little octopus,
I am full of questions. How did this happen,
this laboratory, this maze, the lights
you short with a jet of water? Your camera’s
eye, your hard beak, what you pulled
along the ocean floor to your burrow?
Where is the ocean? Who put you in the jar?
What have they taught you to settle for?
And what do they know of our several minds?
Donika Kelly's "A Poem to Remind Myself of the Natural Order of Things" can also be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 4.
Donika Kelly is the author of Bestiary (Graywolf 2016) and the chapbook
Aviarium (500 Places 2017). Donika is a Cave Canem Graduate Fellow, and
winner of the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She is an assistant professor
at St. Bonaventure University, where she teaches creative writing.