Sex, Kink, and the Erotic: “Moonfish” by Sean West


Tingalpa Creek

Under barbed wire fences of private

properties, taking shortcuts through secret

dirt bike tracks behind our local Baptist

Church, we starfished shirtless, skinny

       as all fuck, pale as moonfish. He refused

to touch me. I loved him then, didn’t have 

words for it yet, something beyond blood 

       brother or boy crush. We backflipped

from sketchy rope swings into murky

depths. Bull sharks bum-rushed beneath

       the surface. You might still be able to hear

their fins whip creek water. We only caught ripples,

never gory details. Those sharks seemed as shy

as I was—pale bodies, no hair, all smooth 

bellies with an appetite for something 

       just beyond reach.

About Sean West

Sean West is a Meanjin-based poet, arts producer and workshop facilitator. He has been shortlisted for the 2020 and 2019 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. His work appears or is forthcoming with Red Room Poetry, Antithesis Journal, and Voiceworks Magazine. He is founding editor of Blue Bottle Journal. Find more at