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Why do they keep calling the shark a “he” in Jaws?

by Kate Arden

Artwork by Alexa Gaffaney


The shark in Jaws is a woman/obviously/a dried up old biddy/who’s seen the world five times over/and is sick of all its shit/sick of your bratty kids in her fucking yard/sick of going without a decent meal/and you not noticing her haircut/seasick/sick of you acting like destruction is male/she can understand where you’d get the idea but/don’t you know/what brings you into this world/will take you out?

The shark in Jaws is a woman/who else could smell blood that way?/who else could make men/and their girls and their boys/drown inside her?

She’s a woman/a grizzled broad with lipstick stains on her teeth/and a fury in her fins/that denies the fact that they aren’t hands/you’re going to need a bigger boat, honey/she leers/I’m a bigger boat, honey/she leers/take me for a spin?

She’s a woman/she doesn’t ask for permission or forgiveness/she was never granted either.

She’s a woman/her mouth is big enough for all of us.

She’s a woman/her name is probably Janine.

Janine says/screw you and your pretty wife/Martin/your beautiful kids/nobody ever loved me like that/nobody needed to/I’ve got this/and I’ve got your nose! Haha

Janine says/stop pretending/you can’t be afraid of a thing without a dick/a thing that could take you inside/and make you see God/one way/or another/one way/or another.

And she sings it like that/because Janine/loves Blondie.

Women don’t always wear dresses/sometimes we wear tails/and your bullet holes/thank god/we’ve learned thick skins.


Published inPoetry

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