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Clade Song 13

A Mostly True Account of Talking to a Shark Off the Coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The Shark hit me this evening hard and precise, saying

“You! You’re the one that invades my dreams every so often. Don’t swim away so fast. I don’t recall eating a poet in the last 30 years; ok, maybe one a few weeks ago off Truro.

But why the cold shoulder?”

                                                                        Give me a minute.          
                                                                        I just left a flight
                                                                        and it barely landed.

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, when Glück left she was barely breathing,” the Shark
joked. “Most of you prefer to be on time with your tender bottoms.”

                                                                        I tried to harmonize:
                                                                        Do you mean

“So you are listening and drifting further out. Am I too close?”

                                                                        His skin grazed my
                                                                        quad like a truck.

“Ok listen, I’m not a fan. You’re writing nothing but drivel lately - you’re just not that good.
And this obsession with Creeley has got to stop. He’s not coming back!"

                                                                        This moment is for
                                                                        you, you are not
                                                                        for this moment.

“Stop thrashing. Breathe. The first bite is always the toughest (see what I did there?).

I try to make it quick but they kick. And scream. Pray. And promise.

Those pathetic promises - they are the worst.

You know, there was a time when just hundreds of you and many thousands of me existed. Your god is an awful accountant.”

                                                                        Blackness cradled
                                                                        legs furiously      
                                                                        pumping through
                                                                        mute agony.

“There’s nothing cooler than surviving a great white shark attack and talking about it.

You’ll be fine. And interesting.”

                                                                        Oh Shark, I’m so
                                                                        grateful to you.

“You know, it’s so much easier for me to speak to you out here. God knows I hate tracking sand  everywhere.

Maybe we’ll speak again in Aquinnah of which I too especially love. Go back to sleep now Ed, and I will leave a villanelle in you as a deep farewell.”

                                                                        Damn it Shark,
                                                                        don’t go!
“But I must - they’re calling
                                                                        Wait. Who?

Diving he said: “Oh you know who. They’re calling you too.”

                                                                        Darkly he dove. 
                                                                        And then, I wept.







Ed Gaudet is a writer who lives in Hanover, Massachusetts, where he is a cybersecurity software entrepreneur in healthcare. He has written for Forbes Magazine. His journey with poetry began at an early age and grew during university where he studied under poet Ruth Lepson and was greatly influenced by Robert Creeley. While attending Bentley University, he was the Editor-in-Chief of its literary magazine, Piecework. In 1999, Ed was awarded the grand prize for his poem, "Sitting Shiva," which appeared in Into the Sun.