my father smells like rusting
coins, twisted copper boundaries, collected
nickles, pennies, dimes,
prismatic faces coalescing in sidecar compartments
commiserating with their greening alloys.
he strikes “in God we trust” into my molten palms
so hard, i still feel
engraved long after the coin
drops, small angles scattering
over heatless chrome.
i scrub my hands. corrode the crystal lattice
cultured in the microcracks of my flesh.
he seizes our swelling jars of cents, empties
every vessel into the lake, oscillating
eternal wishes or maybe craving
brittle fracture, to cleave himself from his scent
as i know it.
why mint? why stamp metal daughters fated
to be totaled, fingered, intermingled along a planar array
below sea level?
the lake is metallic. brined.
a marinade of stacked copper faults.
steeped silvery reminders
of my father’s hands.
Grace Gilbert is a sophomore English (creative writing), and childhood and special education double major at SUNY Geneseo. She drops things a lot, and probably eats too much cheese for her own good.