“THERE’S NO THROUGH TRAIL” —HAN-SHAN, TRANSLATED BY GARY SNYDER
/ Of Suckers and Fins

Of Suckers and Fins

by Eric Odynocki

“A rare fossil preserved a squid attack from 200 million years ago…”

— Business Insider, May 9, 2020

A fossil testifies
the oldest record of murder:
a squid with a fish in its beak.

A deep-sea slaughter caught—petrified—red-tentacled.
Motive: hunger.
Cause of death:

devouring for one
and asphyxiation for the other.
They say the cephalopod’s greed

took it to its grave.
In one version,
it literally bit more than it could chew

and choked.
In the other, the predator,
euphoric to savor its fresh dish without threat of sharing,

sank to an ocean depth
too scant of oxygen.
Summers swell

voracious with their heat
and lick polar caps
into slush that in turn feeds

the engorging seas. Will our own
blind consumerism
hook us in the end?

Our violent ignorance
framed in so blissful
mid-bite.

Eric Odynocki

About Eric Odynocki

Eric Odynocki is a teacher and writer from New York. His work is often inspired by his experience as a first-generation American of Mexican, Ukrainian, and Jewish descent. Eric’s work has been published in American Poetry JournalGreen Mountains Review, [PANK], Magma Poetry, and others.

Cold Mountain Review is published once a year in the Department of English at Appalachian State University. Support from Appalachian’s Office of Academic Affairs and College of Arts and Sciences enables CMR’s learning and publications program. The views and opinions expressed in CMR do not necessarily reflect those of university trustees, administration, faculty, students, or staff.