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After Jaws,

Marine photographers wouldn't shoot a great white

with her mouth open, to combat unfair prejudice against the creature.

I made that up and decided I'd read it.

Nabokov once read an article about a monkey in a cage

who, given charcoal and paper, drew the bars of its cell.

What was this lie meant to teach us?

Sometimes the way sharks are lit in photos makes their snouts look huge

and soft as clown noses.

He puts his mouth on her fin during mating, to stabilize,

they sway in the ocean without arms to hold each other.

An article jokes, "shark sex is 50 shades of rough"

but I think it may be tender.

I hold your hair during sex

and keep my hand 

on the back of your skull

in case it hits the headboard.

Shark bites during mating can leave bad scars.

She doesn't care because she's an animal. She doesn't wince, or sigh.

I'm not a shark rape victim. She can't raped.

The consistency of plaster should be like toothpaste.

love is tacky

and good for adherence.

     you can slice yourself

     skinning a shark

     grating cheese

     sanding smooth the stucco

     of an old home

my scars are white and plastered over,

painless even to a firm touch.

You prime our walls,

I mix a sort of shiny gray.

I think I'll paint a little great white

beneath the cabinets in the kitchen

You stand with the roller in your hand,

singing, and waiting for me to help.

Heather Gluck is a poet and translator from New York whose work deals in wellness, irresolution, and regret. She was named 2nd place in the 2021 Tennessee Williams Writing Contest. Her work can be found in Beyond Words Magazine, High Shelf Press, and F3ll Magazine, among others. She is currently completing an MFA at Columbia University.

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