Cephalopods colonize oceans after coral reef skeletons
crumble like rainforests. Fat starfish grip brittle calcium

carbonate with blue velvet thumbs. The ink-armed snipers
fire underwater thunderclouds through bright shallows

between estuary and shelf, trickling to albatross, anemone,
urchin, damselfish. Midnight floats toward cryptofauna.

These pools were sunlit, before mollusk feet evolved into
muscular hydrostat and multiplied. Octopus and squid,

silent invertebrate swarm unswallowed by vanishing great
white or bull. Shark fin soup a delicacy on land. Dead

predators thrown back in the deeps, fanged but de-finned.
The sea brims with tentacles, pulsing like copter wings.

August 2017

* A 2016 study revealed sudden and explosive increases in octopus populations due to a number of human-made environmental conditions detrimental to many other sea creatures.