• Jonny Teklit

ODE TO THE STRAWBERRY SQUID


read by Jonny Teklit

I want to be like you:

a glamorous bitch!

a soft and tender bitch!

an ever flexible,

bright and glittering,

always dressed to impress bitch!

even when there is no one

around to see the fit, bitch!


I want to be like you.

I want to be the featured

creature of the Zoobooks

issue that’s always checked out.

I want people to be awed

when they see me and awed,

weeks later, when they remember

I exist.


sentient sequin. self-obsessed cephalopod.

in the yearbook of endangered species,

you win the superlative for least concerned

every single time. tell me your secret,

dazzler of the deep. just like you, I want

everything in the world to crush on me.

i want the flurry of black ink

every time I find myself at the desk.

I want your jeweler’s eye for light,

your ability to tune out the dark

to focus on that which keeps you fed.

I want enough arms to hold everything

I love, the freedom to try on some immodesty,

and if you, patron saint of vanity,

are willing to teach me, I will be your pupil;

your wide & hungry pupil.

Jonny Teklit is a winner of the 2019 Academy of American Poets College Poetry Prize and the recipient of the 2019 Aliki Perroti and Seth Young Most Promising Young Poet Award. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Mixed Mag, Dishsoap Quarterly, Alien Magazine, The Susquehanna Review, Catapult, and The New Yorker. More of his work can be found at www.jonnyteklit.com // Instagram: @jonnyteklit // Twitter: @jonnysaysOMG


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