Heather Truett

The One with Shark Sex

Female sharks are covered in a thicker
skin than their male counterparts, slick
silver hide, gliding wet armor. Lady
sharks need their flesh protected, not
from a larger predator. Turns out

the sharks with testes like to bite during
sex and rather than tell these man sharks
to fuck off with their razory rows of teeth,
clever shark girls have evolved thicker
skins, and I say good on them. In my own

life, I’d be more of the “get your bloody teeth
out of my breast tissue” type, but to each
their own, right? Perhaps the sharks with
the ovaries like it a little rough. Perhaps
we all make some sacrifice for the survival

of our species. Perhaps I should not compare
the sex lives of aquatic predators to that of humanity.
Maybe, were I a slender fish of tender flesh
swimming in the blue, I would welcome the touch
of my mate, the connection only maintained when

he took my body in his mouth, my attention
only offered to the one brave enough to risk
my bite by giving me his own. I will not judge
the wild for its wildness. I will not judge the pale
skin of my own body, when sinking teeth find

it is thin.

Heather Truett is an MFA candidate and an autistic author. Her debut novel, KISS AND REPEAT, released in 2021. She has published poetry and short fiction with Tipton Poetry Journal, Panoply Zine, Drunk Monkeys, and others. Heather also serves on staff for The Pinch.

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