Archive for the Henry Stanton Category

Sharkbait by Henry Stanton

Posted in Henry Stanton on December 4, 2018 by Scot


i first met this woman i don’t know where she could be many women in my life my mother my wife myself she is a shy woman prone to stay in doors likes her own bed clean sheets down pillows likes to shower for hours in the morning fix her hair doesn’t like to go out loves the natural but doesn’t get in it i met this girl and pushed hard to get her to come out we went places she had never been before i was enthusiastic zealous energetic impatient even aggressive i am prone to be she came because we were new and she was sure she would love me we went to the marshes a sea side town in new england and first watched birds at the national wetlands preserve in late fall when it was cold there were tens of thousands of snow geese it was chaotic beautiful unlike anything she had seen but she had seen in her heart she was delighted next we went clamming in the marsh she wouldn’t take her shoes off and get in the mud the first day but the second she did there were bodies brushing our legs in the shallow water but we didn’t notice i stayed in longer the first day not the second though i almost couldn’t get her out with the sun just set and the short trees the marsh grasses jet black against the redorange lingering sun light i had to practically pull her into the boat with force the next day we went blue fishing out into the ocean far she had always been afraid of boats the rocking and the ocean the deepness “that oh-oh feeling” the deepness not so much what could be down there but the bigness of it the unfathomable quality the “so-deepness” I got her out on the boat and she had her arms wrapped around her knees and asked me over and over again if she looked pale and I said no you look lovely and she did her smooth skin was rosy like the setting sun when she pulled the first fish in she was lost to me pulling blues in with such zeal really putting heart into loving it grabbing and hugging me but being off somewhere in the joy and excitement it was very late when we came to the inn we had been drinking wine she had never had a drink she was afraid of vomiting but that night she did and it was a very new high for her later we put away bottles and neither of us vomited we made love in a kind of trance it was very exciting but distant in the morning like a trip into a dream place when we woke she was alive immediately full of energy scary really wanting to go she said let’s do something really exciting let’s push it something dangerous let’s go let’s go and that’s where i am now looking in on myself i watched her wake not knowing all this we were sleeping on the ground behind this fisherwoman’s shack weathered place really salty and old the fisherwoman had a tool shed out back yelled off the back porch hey honey get up look again at that fish you beat the hell out of its hanging off the side of the shed and she went and looked with her eyes fiery full of glee and power she was still drunk from the whiskey we had in the morning out on the ocean into the night I stopped remembering before we even saw a shark she went to the shed and hanging on the side in a net was a whipped shark in shreds almost dead and open wounds still moist but blue and purple not red and she grabbed the net down off the shed and held that huge shark in the net with her left hand full of triumph and then she noticed her right hand her writing hand and she looked at it only with fascination all four fingers bitten off down to the fist a ball really a fist ball and she stared at it and then i stopped looking at all this with her eyes and my heart sank i had this huge fear in me my sight walked itself around the corner where i new i would be hurt and there i was just as i thought sharkbait on the ground in pieces my right leg sheared off laying on my slashed back other parts hanging on to my crumpled beaten lacerated torso i lay on my stomach my face torn off hardest to see my face torn off hanging by a tube or rope of some kind of flesh turned around looking at the head from which it came looking into the head from which it came looking looking help me help me looking




Henry Stanton’s fiction, poetry and paintings appear in 2River, The A3 Review, Avatar, The Baltimore City Paper, The Baltimore Sun Magazine, Kestrel, Outlaw Poetry, PCC Inscape, Pindeldyboz,  Salt & Syntax, SmokeLong Quarterly, The William and Mary Review, Word Riot, and The Write Launch among other publications.                              

His poetry was selected for the A3 Review Poetry Prize  and was shortlisted for the Eyewear 9th Fortnight Prize for Poetry.  His fiction received an Honorable Mention acceptance for the Salt & Syntax Fiction Contest and was selected as a finalist for the Pen 2 Paper Annual Writing Contest. 

A selection of Henry Stanton’s paintings are currently on show at Atwater’s Catonsville and can be viewed at the following website