“since I let myself think about” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday December 1, 2019
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot
Sharks swim in the water in the place where I live
circling and hoping for fearless playmates
oh the sweet innocent oh the venom toed hope
of any variety of any shape of any texture of any taste

I can’t believe that I’ve jumped in again
swirling towards chaos or the rush of being desired
I don’t even know what it all looks like anymore

I hate how heartbreak has made me better
in every sense of the word
the b touches the e with softness and smoke
the two t’s are lovers that no one knows about
the e and the r parents to a new thing that has

never been born before
I hate how heartbreak looks good on me most days
and the jeans fit just so now
just so I can remember the time before the time
the time before the second hand caught up
the time before time

I ride the shark into the black and blue
the coral reef glows fluorescent
tension expels herself from my form
I am oh
I am oh
I am oh

“Sharks spotted” by Sasha on the Queen Streetcar going West

Monday February 17, 2014
5 minutes
the news feed at Ossington Station

“Michael?!” She calls, “What are you doing in your room? It’s so quiet!… Are you… meditating?” She’s right up close, I can practically hear her nails tapping on the door. “I’m fine, Mom,” I say, quietly. “What?” She says. She waits. “I’m making you a sandwich. You’re getting too skinny.” She trots down the stairs. I close my eyes. I breathe in, covering one nostril and out, covering the other. I picture white light surrounding the house, Alfalfa and Ruby. I spot a shark coming in from out of nowhere. I used to have nightmares about sharks but haven’t thought about them since I reached puberty. The shark swims through the window in the kitchen, takes one look at my mother, and eats her whole. “Shit!” I shout, my eyes opening, my breath rising high. A light tap on the door. “Michael?” She says. I sigh. “Yeah?” “I’m leaving an egg salad sandwich outside your door. Come and get it in a second or two or Alfalfa will have diarrhea for a week because of you.” I go to the door and open it. I kiss her on the cheek. I take a bite out of the sandwich.

“Sharks spotted” by Julia on her couch

Monday February 17, 2014
5 minutes
the news feed at Ossington Station

They were in a tank, but still. I was like, DO NOT LET THEM SEE ME. I thought they were going to smell my fear. From the tank, like, I know. That’s how big my fear was! I wasn’t prepared for those faces. Like, angry, scary, sneaky, creepy faces. Those smiles? What are you smiling about, you know? Like, am I your next big meal or something? Will you be using me to make an example out of people who get too close? I had a heart attack. My heart was legitimately attacked! Like, with the pain and the blurriness? I couldn’t see a thing. I could hear the JAWS theme song in my head, though. That’s something that actually happened. I was told before I went to the aquarium that they look scary, but they’re not. That’s just their face. That’s just the way they look. Which I guess is fair, right? Not all humans who look like pedophiles actually are. Okay, bad example. Not all humans who look like they’re about to murder you painfully actually do…Wait. Is this the right type of comparison? Point is, I saw these sharks, and I was petrified. And they didn’t kill me, and they didn’t give a shit about me, really, but I think, goddammit, I still think they could sense me there. As an outsider. As someone not to be trusted because if I were ever alone with them, I would try to do some weird psychoanalysis shit on them. See what they really wanted…