Bio Note: I have a history with sharks, and leave Shark Week running on all my TVs, like a screen saver (or scream saver).
Last Rites: Shark Week
New Smyrna Beach, Florida Sometimes the shark would go away, sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Quint, Jaws I wish it were on all day, every day, like an aquarium, to remind me of all those summers up to my neck in the Atlantic, then the many mornings in the dark, in the Gulf, up to my heart, shuffling past the stingrays. I never really worried, even after I’d felt the tug at my waist, lifted the stringer to see only the bitten end, all those speckled sea trout, taken in one gulp. Now they call the beach, where my cousin and I rode the waves for hours, The Shark-Bite Capital of the World. Even before I knew what irony meant, I knew that suburb of Atlanta, unlike its namesake in antiquity, could devour me, though never dreamed back then how quickly things unseen could rise from down below, and how you could hear not get out, now, but Happy are those who are called to his supper.
Spooky Nook Road
Since I can’t afford to fish the summer surf anymore, and everything here in the corn belt has wilted, colored khaki as old lettuce by now, I’m longing for that light in August that foretells the fall. And though I also hate holidays, Halloween seems like a harlequin heaven at this distance. Near here is a road where something sad happened, though none of the Amish remember what. No nook anywhere, but the Dutch is spuk hus, maybe a weathered barn crumbling amid the brown cornstalks, the scabrous scarecrows only spooky silhouettes at the full moon, when the local kids, sick of summer too, tell stories of headless horsemen, or maybe hear the wind wheeze through the bones of someone hanging from a gnarled oak, a seduced and abandoned suicide, or some old fisherman. swinging far from the sound of the sea.
©2020 William Greenway
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