Unpalatable Truth

Reflecting upon a tasty yet unsettling meal, Margiotta depicts a point of moral uncertainty asking, what does it mean to eat an octopus?

I ate an octopus

                           eyeing the menu

                 I’m a sucker for cephalopod, I said

                        ha, see what I did there?


and when it came

an exquisite swirl

of ruby limbs

glistening with garlic oil

charred,  just so

the delicate cream rimmed saucers 

dimpled along the elegant appendages

the chips and salad an affront

to this beauty 

laid bare on porcelain


I ate it in a beach front restaurant

that serves food of the mediterranean

and on that sunny day gazing out

through the huge windows

I could almost feel the warmth of the teal sea

and the sand scorching my feet

except my bones remembered

the Aberdeen wind’s chill

and the way the waves stole my childhood breath


I ate an octopus

and now I feel bad

in the pit of my stomach

how was I to know they are intelligent

so adept at problem solving

they’re great at mazes, apparently

whereas I’ve no sense of direction

they can recognise people

I’m hopeless with names


                                         they have three hearts

                              but me, I just ate him

                                 blue blood and eight brains

                  say no more


I ate an octopus

in my defence 

I only ate two tentacles

so three other diners must also be guilty


              but I ate an octopus

                     he was tasty

          and that’s the unpalatable truth