She starts, I can remember
the water turning red. Swimming
back to the beach with one arm.
Did she leave her arm behind? I ask
because I am curious. I am a voyeur
into this ocean, this sharkbite, the labor
of being permanently destroyed.
There’s a star in this lake and it’s my body.
There are gallons of sunlight, saltwater.
I try to imagine swimming
having just been ripped open:
three crescents, star-sharp,
incomprehensible rows of teeth.
Would I feel my arm in that mouth,
leagues of skin, warm
entrails, my hand a new
set of eyes.
Melissa Goodrich is the author of the collaborative collection The Classroom and the story collection Daughters of Monsters. Her stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review Online, Passages North, PANK, and others. Find her at melissa-goodrich.com and tweeting @good_rib.