So this is something I’m supposed to think about. What is my ordeal? What is it that I need to face?
My power. What if I transform into a shark, my power a great white, tiger shark, hammerhead. What about biting through this cage, growing great jaws, teeth like icebergs, eschewing lettuce, what if I eat raw bloody meat onstage. What if I swim in circles around whoever’s performing. What if I express my jealousy, green and sickly bitter as it is.
Shark teeth. Rattling a sharktooth necklace. Drinking glasses of water, breathing with gills, erasing the evidence of slaughter by licking the plate clean. It would be an ordeal to admit my excellence in public–to name that I want success, slaver after it, that I’m sharpening my teeth on the bones of bad poetry, that I’m thinking of giving up carrots and apples entirely in favor of an all-meat diet. That I want to run over the detritus of my past life with someone’s Subaru.
It would be an ordeal to strip off my gentle smile and reveal the beast underneath, the monster, the bloodlust, the judge, the executioner. To admit that my letters resemble shark fins.That the shark is doing its job, hunting. A creature predatory. To admit that I want to be famous, wealthy, looked up to, immortalized. That I, even now, must interject that my life has been beset by poverty in its entirety and that this makes it okay to hunger for comfort.
That sometimes I do tire of social justice jargon. That we have to stop policing one another.
That it’s okay if success includes prestige. That it’s okay to be highly-regarded, to be thought pre-eminent, flashy, fangy, fangorn, foghorn leghorn.