Shark Fin

Cintia Santana

Like a black wing angled out
     of water, it rose, lured

by the shadow of our boat.
     Circled us—no seal—turned

north. I loved a banker then.
     The boat was his. Perhaps

the water, too, its small, tin
     mirrors. I’d never known the traps

of wealth before: the rigging
     of its baits, its blue-barbed hooks.

I, too, have circled, mistaking
     metal for a meal, duped

by instinct. Wide, the sea. The oar:
     the heart’s dark sail, its hunger.

Cintia Santana teaches translation, fiction and poetry workshops in Spanish at Stanford University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, Linebreak, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, RHINO, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, and other journals. C.D. Wright selected Santana's poem, “Qasida of Grief,” as the winner of The Sycamore Review’s 2013 Wabash Poetry Prize.


  1. Cindy Bousquet Harris says

    Dear Cintia Santana,

    Your poem “Shark Fin” is wonderful! “I, too, have circled…” Wow!



  2. This is a luminous poem. Loved “…the water, too, its small, tin mirrors.” and the parallel drawn between the shark’s circling and the speaker’s, in the last two stanzas. I read this poem with immense envy for the skill. Bravo.

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