Hammer Head by Yael Valencia Aldana after Ada Limon I could not imagine that such a creature could be caught. I could not imagine the colossal total of his rough hewn weight or that he could be brought into our world. A membrane must have been broken, thrust though to still the muscled breath of this leviathan. It seemed wrong that three men could labor under the immensity of his shifting body in shallow water, in their rickety wooden boat with blue and white paint peeling, or that my mother and I would be passing on the road at that exact moment in our white mini to see his dead kings body and the three men struggling with him, their prize. How had they managed it? How had he been taken? Was he hooked? Or was he found floating, His head slack in death, fresh still. How had they claimed him? How had they hoisted him into this shallow pretense of a boat. My eight year old self wanted to know everything. As usual, My mother wanted to know nothing. But as usual she had a story about how she ate shark once and didn’t like it.
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Yael Aldana is a Caribbean Afro-Latinx writer and poet. Yael and her mother and her mother’s mother and so on are descendants of the indigenous people of modern-day Colombia. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Florida International University (FIU). Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Typehouse, The Florida Book Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Scapegoat Review, Antithesis Blog, and Slag Glass City, among others. She teaches creative writing at FIU, and she lives in South Florida with her son and too many pets.
You can find her online at YaelAldana.com, on Instagram at @Yaelwrites, and on Twitter @Yaelwrites71.