Plain China

Shark Fishing on Acid

by Danny Macdonald · Tufts University
Fisherman, Chelsey Moody · Emerson College

there are cliffs underwater
and if you hold a rock you can sink off of them
it is like intentional drowning
but you can let go before you get to the bottom

the sharks are on the bottom
like metal detectors a few inches above the sand
on a radar screen it would look like

bloop bloop
bloopbloop bloop   bloop bloop

most people who drown are old
they drown in puddles on sidewalks or in grass

when I am nervous
water seems dangerous and like an emerald manta ray

when we were young we put mud on our faces
and said something about iron in the mud
as if the mud were full of dead, metallic fish

there was a noise called “the bloop”
the loudest noise recorded underwater
you thought it was a leviathan
or an animal or a monster

later they said it was the earth breathing
ocean vents and mud and air

you cried when you found out
then named a fish “Cthulhu” and stopped caring

it is dark at the bottom
so nobody knows, anyways

it was a late winter and there were no sharks
but it could have been any number of ways

if you see a manta ray on the horizon
I drowned looking for emerald fish

About the Author

Danny Macdonald · Tufts University

Daniel Macdonald studies psychology and philosophy at Tufts. He mostly considers himself a photographer, but also dabbles in writing, drawing, and graphic design. His favorite word is vague and he thinks this probably says something about him. His poem was first published in the Canon.

About the Artist

Chelsey Moody · Emerson College

Chelsey Moody is a senior writing, literature, and publishing major at Emerson. Her career aspirations include traveling the world and bringing good music to everyone’s ears. Her photograph first appeared in the Emerson Review.