"Make me," she says, "forget"
but I forget myself at the stock
still stalking salt and friction after the gush
of the gusts at the fork of the path that finds me lasting
the way a shark dies soon as it slides without movement . . . . Sleep
swimming off my back, I wake in the last person
I remember being
her face a crash
against my ear and red hair down to here and there and ó
sticking like sweat between us, but thicker than and wetter than and ó
all over her back were these coins, like armor, like armor buttons
on a shield, these pennies turning
as if into roaches, for as soon as I touched one, all
scattered to the soil of sheets below . . .
where I am still finding them
years later under my bed, reminding me
that tattooed over her bull-muscled shoulder
was this Viking with long red hair grinning deep in her sweat
holding me down and freaking me out and, and, and . . . .
even like this, even when itís this stark
and hairy, dark and scary, itís, itís, itís
still pretty good:
these pennies come back shining like dimes.
--- Chris Custer