“Humpback Swallows Lobster Diver in Provincetown” by Jennifer Jean

Jennifer Jean


it’s a great white no whale yeah it’s dark it’s
up to him I’m in or out like those injured jungle nights

after the Sansa smash
in Costa Rica or being dragged to sea from Race Point spinies

tread tread treading
and every 10 seconds is a damn day dog gone

I’m gonna miss Bibi bad break my legs or die I see the sand
in her hair from Sunday miss our damn

kids I don’t decide the dockmaster
wouldn’t let up about Mike! un-fuckin-tangle

your aluminum nets from my shit! and I decided not to shit
Josiah’s gonna get the blame the sweat stain

on the front of that same damn red T he won’t
give it up he’s the shit 10 seconds and the almighty

every last body told me to go
to Joe’s over on the dune side of town and draw a line say

Stop grifting our gear! The Ja’n J is mine and get your own boat
if you want to lobster! but I had to go on this damn

dark dive with no bottom to the 10 second
day I don’t decide something’s muscling me

all over then my life’s like one of Ma’s best painted “Packard skies”
and spit into it and out of this

young buck baleen deciding I can do whatever the hell
I want I want to buy Joe a Bud and not

because it tastes like destiny but I’m happy
to say it will

from Poets Respond
June 22, 2021


Jennifer Jean: “I love that this story proves the veracity of a particular biblical miracle. And that Mike the lobster diver is a stand-in for every one of us coming out of the pandemic lockdown—from our own version of Joseph Campbell’s ‘belly of the whale’ portion of the Hero’s Journey: we were in that dark forever—it seemed—and now we’re out and life is new and full of possibility, opportunity, do-overs. We can be bruised but healing and smiling. We can love everyone if we want. I don’t know if that’s what Mike’s done, of course, but that’s what biblical Jonah does. That’s what I’m trying to do.” (web)

Rattle Logo