If I Could Come Back
by Tricia Knoll

If I could come back
I used to imagine
coyote or crow — single-file
ants or web-weavers.

That changed in the war tide.

Now for me it’s squid
      three green hearts
      long penises
      translucent ovaries
      jet-powered locomotion
      short-lived (come round again fast
      like roulette)

and ink!
      I’m out-of-here escape in ink
      no more blowhards, suicide bombers
      tyrants, bigots or pigs.

I am out of here –
      writing memoir on the sea scrolls.

 IMAGE: “Squid and ink” by Bakufu Ohno (1940).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Lots of times people imagine reincarnation. It can be an icebreaker at a party . . . a wishful lament. Mine here reflects my affection for the northern Oregon coast. This poem is from my poetry collection, Ocean’s Laughter.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Knoll is an Oregon poet. Her poetry collections include  Ocean’s Laughter (Aldrich Press, 2016) and a chapbook Urban Wild (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Visit her at

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: If I don’t come back as a sea creature, then perhaps as a tree. Photo taken in my backyard ( June 2016