Jeanne Scheper


The beach glass announces “HE”
Fragmented remains of celebrated masculinity

Commercial detritus worn away 
washed smooth 
forming a male pronoun
between the fingers
triangles of green-blue glass 
wearing a skirt

She stared down at the sand
frowned at the glass 
its short text
triangular form
a lens on gender incongruity
a glass skirt that read “HE”

Nearby a carnival wheel spinning fortunes 
a tarot girl in the curl
buoyant blue with without a tail
scales resting on mussels near shale 
shrouded in sea foam
the waves lap

on the shore standing 
without sail
saving his skirt
white billowing aloft
raw eggs exposed
to the elements

and Gull girls circle the cliffs
flying stiff in formation
descending encircling
beaks cocked
purposefully ready to steal
his raw elements exposed 
eggs in the sea breeze

But they came for another
wings lifted 
cushioning the mythological form
dripping salt slick 
with seaweed
an elevator of feathers rises up
with sea girl’s weight just
clearing the cloudless sky

coveting her laughter 
they steal her seal form away
from undeserving eyes
exposing human flesh
to its gendered susceptibility  

And still
back on the beach
the skirted glass announces, “HE”
the ocean world taunting earthly forms of masculinity.

Jeanne Scheper is a Baltimore ex-pat living uncannily in Southern California—a lover of libraries, books, bookstores, and small presses. Scheper shares a passion for archives, activism, and zine-making with students at the University of California, Irvine. Past creative work includes scripts for the shadow performance group Cave Dogs (New Paltz, NY), poems in Shattered Wig (Baltimore, MD), activist posters, and a variety of short creative non-fiction pieces, reflecting on experiences of space, race, cities, and ideas of security, most recently about living for a year in Pretoria, South Africa.