Octopus Prayer

Geneva Arystan

Novel Extract || Read a brief interview with the author here.

I want to call you trace your patterns unravel the thread of your thoughts wash 9:57 off your face turn the faucet on and un-try to fight the flood I want to give you away at my garage sale

and watch you boomerang back I want to be in your prayers I want to buckle your knees make you bend make you bend make you bend make you bend feel your frequency eat your

delicious energy field digest it stain your memory orange dissolve in your fears read the anthology of your blood look at you in vain in pain congruent with your humanity touch you

where it hurts hurt you with my touch breathe with you while we sleep kill the animosity bite the ambiguity it’s been biting at my back the whole way here I want to chew your name feel

the vowels with my tongue so the letters dance around vibrating their shapes in my throat like they’re onstage and you’re the only one in the room I’m performing but not really it’s all

shadow play at the end of the day I want to call you run down the green green green landscape of your mental framework rolling hills and too much sky, lie down with you there,

here, under the light I want to play with you break you glue you back up put you on my wall show you off to my guests at the housewarming as I pour red wine and nod and wear my

dress past my knees I want to roll around in your oxytoxic body hang me up like your laundry I want to feed you my teeth for lunchtime I want to make you beg I want to make you starve

for my scent I want to choke you with my pheromones I want to run down the hall with no hallway pass I wanna be bad I wanna be good I wanna be so good I wanna be the best

please can I be good for once all I feel sometimes is rotten this poem is not even about you, you’re just here and I am swimming in a marble I am knitting your hair into knots braiding

your yearning into desire this is not about you this is about me and my body and my body and my body you are the vehicle but I’m the gas energy fuel charge I want to call you

I am growing tentacles for everyone inside myself I want to touch


Geneva Arystan is a Kazakh native living in Los Angeles. She is primarily a writer and conceptual artist with a text-based medium. She was named Author of the Year 2015 in Vox Populi literary magazine in Switzerland and chosen as the Spotlight Author of the Year in Ink Magazine 2016 Edition in Paris. Octopus Prayer is an extract of her project Three People Ago, which explores the transformation of identity through moments of human intimacy. She holds a B.A. in Culture, Criticism and Curation from Central Saint Martin’s University in London and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She currently teaches English Composition and Critical Thinking in Los Angeles.

This piece is an extract of Geneva Arystan’s book, Three People Ago. Read a conversation between Geneva and Editor D. W. White about her creative process and the genesis of Octopus Prayer here.


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