November 6, 2014 | ,

A History of Biology

for Melissa

Ensephalopus is not an arctic creature,
she says. It is in the line

of sirens and sinuses, octopi and angels. No
leviathan, or sexually aberrant penguin,

but no study has been conducted. It walks
upright on tentacles, though, has

walrus teeth in a snake’s head. It doesn’t
suffer from deep-sea gigantism

like Architeuthis or isopods. This
creature’s tough, would swallow you whole

if the teeth didn’t get in the way. No doubt,
it will wobble like a baby cobra

& topple if a waving hand attracts
its attention. But if its mouth sprouts

song, if it bursts in wings, remember
you were interested in the study,

the thing. So when its voice paralyzes,
when you see its teeth drip saliva

like melting flies down winter windows,
know that you are the agent.

There is no controlling it. In the end,
you have done this to yourself.


Brian D. Morrison is an Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University. He has been an administrator of Slash Pine Press as well as a former assistant editor for Black Warrior Review at the University of Alabama. His work has been published at Verse Daily, Copper Nickel, Cave Wall, and other journals, and he …

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