Grace Gilbert


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.