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FURTHER READING
Poems by Joel Brouwer
Vodka
Poems about Sharks
Angel Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Ants and Sharks
by Tomasz Rózycki
Ashore
by Ernest Hilbert
At Shark Reef Sanctuary
by Eva Alice Counsell
Beach Walk
by Henri Cole
Flying Fish: An Ode [excerpt]
by Charles Wharton Stork
Haunted Seas
by Cale Young Rice
I Wonder What It Feels Like to be Drowned?
by Robert Graves
In a Breath
by Carl Sandburg
Inheritance of Waterfalls and Sharks
by Martín Espada
Murray Dreaming
by Stephen Edgar
No Place Like Home
by Stephen Cushman
Ode on Dictionaries
by Barbara Hamby
Plague of Dead Sharks
by Alan Dugan
Rome
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly
Seal Lullaby
by Rudyard Kipling
Sharks in the Rivers
by Ada Limón
Sharks' Teeth
by Kay Ryan
Shoal of Sharks
by Richard O'Connell
Song of the Paddlers [excerpt]
by Herman Melville
Submarine Mountains
by Cale Young Rice
Summer [excerpt]
by James Thomson
The Bluefish
by Isaac McLellan
The Maldive Shark
by Herman Melville
The Ripple Effect
by Jamey Dunham
The Sea is History
by Derek Walcott
The Shark
by William Henry Venable
The Shark
by Isaac McLellan
The Shark
by Judith Beveridge
The Shark
by Lord Alfred Douglas
The Shark's Parlor
by James Dickey
The Sharks
by Denise Levertov
The Sirens
by James Russell Lowell
The Steel Rippers
by Patricia Carlin
Tiger Shark
by Hailey Leithauser
Untitled [There, by the crescent moon, the shark]
by Shido
Upon Shark
by Robert Herrick
What To Do About Sharks
by Vivian Shipley
White Sales
by Allen Grossman
World Below the Brine
by Walt Whitman
Related Prose
Poems for Shark Week
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Coffee and Oranges

 
by Joel Brouwer

The music on TV turned gloomy. Sharks,
she said, and sure enough. A blunt snout,
jumbled cemetery of teeth, and quick black
depthless eye thrashed the screen. Coffee
and oranges made the morning acidic.
She said, the cello is the instrument
of the inevitable. White clouds
of jasmine devoured a trellis. He said,
no, the cello is an instrument of caution.
And with that they splashed overboard into
the swells and chop and chum and his lust
for control took dominion everywhere,
like a shark, like he fucked, always either
much too much or nothing at all. He said
he'd make her a deal. If she could face
the mirror a hundred mornings straight and
say out loud she wanted one and mean it
she could have a child. That wasn't bad
enough. Six days later he came off in her
without a condom. And wanted to hug
and cry about it. Brought a warm washcloth.
Said she'd misunderstood. Was this
fate or warning? Punishment or praise?
She didn't even ask; she understood
he didn't understand the difference.
She idled in the Rite Aid parking lot,
adding the omen of the stiff kitten
near the dumpster to the omen of the goth girl
flashing past on her skateboard with a bright
pink bubble perched in her mouth. Called it
a draw. Tore up the prescription and drove
home to coffee, oranges, the inevitable
cello. A hundred mornings and no telling
on which the shark will or won't rip
her open, turn the bitter pith and grounds
of her insides out. The music might warn her
but the shark never will. She's gone. She's here.






"Coffee and Oranges" from And So © by Joel Brouwer, 2009. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.
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