“Moonfish,” by Sean West


Tingalpa Creek

Under barbed wire fences of private

properties, taking shortcuts through secret

dirt bike tracks behind 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 back 

-flipped from sketchy rope swings 

into murky depths. Bull sharks bum

-rushed beneath surface with endless

rows of disposable teeth. You might still

be able to hear their hungry murmurs

       We only caught ripples, never gory

details. Those sharks seemed as frantic 

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 www.callmemariah.com.