At Makena beach on Maui, seven people are attacked by a shark in nine days.  It could be all different sharks, but that’s not the point.  The point is they have been married three days and now the honeymoon is ruined.  She’s sad about the places they could have gone, but she mourns Paris the most.  Honfleur, Gleyre, she tells him. Entreat, Bougival, The Hotel des Roches-Noires.  He says he’s only heard of the last one.  That night in the disco, she finally admits he’s not a good dancer.  Later when she sleeps he longs for the nasty thrills of old crimes.  Six days later they still haven’t gone in the water.  She watches a rerun of a sitcom from 1982 in Portuguese.  He loses one thousand seventy-three dollars in a shell game to a guy in a hat whose hands move like chopper blades.  In the afternoon they walk around the suite with their backs to each other.  It’s the kind of Sunday afternoon that makes you want to kill someone.  Weeks later, when the shark is finally gone, no one will really know.  There won’t be a meeting or a memo, it will just be a guess, a turn of the instinct that says Now.  After that, it’s hard to say what will happen next.  In the meantime they keep going to restaurants and just sitting there.  At dusk surfers paddle in and dissolve on the beach into sandy coats of bruised reds that strum acoustic guitars before twitching fires.   When it gets dark, couples walk away from each other across parking lots; sharks burst from shipwrecks and start looking.

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Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his poems, ALEX GREEN is the author of the book The Stone Roses (Continuum), which is a cultural and political examination of the legendary Manchester band's debut album.  Alex’s interviews and essays have appeared in Magnet, CMJ New Music Monthly and HITS! Alex is the editor of the online music magazine, whose past contributors include everyone from Rick Moody to Devendra Banhart.   He recently collaborated with director Tom DiCillo (Living In Oblivion, When You're Strange) on a screenplay called Years Of Summers. He currently teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at St. Mary’s College of California.

3 responses to “California Divorce”

  1. Maggie May says:

    ‘ sharks burst from shipwrecks ‘
    love that

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