"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
sticking like sweat between us, but thicker than and wetter than and
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