KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 8: August 2017
Poem: 150 words [R]

Shark Cage

by Heather Beatty
Only once did I see a fight
where I thought someone might die.
A man ran by
bleeding from his eye,
finding shelter in the dark corner
of the parking lot.
We called the police
and watched from the solarium of the restaurant.
It was like being in a shark cage underwater—
safe from harm, exposed to the sight—
but the girls: what frightened me
were girls so young and excited.
Pink mouths lined with white teeth,
opening so wide as they yelled into their cell phones;
he’s there—over there—go get him—he’s over there—
then the boys with the baseball bats came.
We called the police again
hoping the boys with bats would not find him.
Scared even though they did not swing at us
but still mostly frightened by those girls,
those girls with their phones—
excited as any cheerleader at a homecoming game.


—Previously published in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2016-17 (Garden Oak Press, February 2017); republished here with author’s permission and kind assistance from Garden Oak Press

Heather Beatty
Issue 8, August 2017

is a poet and a public artist who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her public art includes The Bottle Project, The Bubblegum Poetry Project, and a Pop Up Museum that was part of the open mic series she hosted. Her poetry has been published in San Diego Poetry Annual, Paterson Literary Review, Gertrude, and LIEF Magazine.

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