by Matt Ryan

The sailors wanted to see eight little hands pop out of the water, eight little hands to inspire an extended version of This Little Piggy Went to the Market, because the market was where you could get milk for your honey. These hands, legend said, induced ecstasy. Afterwards, they’d sing about going home to their lover, who was waiting, not necessarily for them, not necessarily this time, with hands open hoping for a treat, and hearts slightly ajar, encased inside a container made of glass that anyone could see or break and preserved with a saline solution. There was just so much salt in the air, the men could feel it spelunking their taste buds. Salt was another gift they wanted to give, not receive. The men at sea were well aware that octopus semen out of context is disgusting. That’s not what they wanted from the octopus. That’s not the sorta love they were looking for. Meanwhile, the men cruised around praying, This’ll do. Whatever is out there, is out there, but please be out there, Octopus. Truth be known, these men might not find it. The octopus has so little control of its arms and doesn’t hear well, though no one speaks of this inside the market.