All Black Everything by Weston Cutter

[Runner-up in the 2012 DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press Chapbook Contest]


32 and used to it + now looking
to discontinue the pennies of
my youth, the coppery bits
bright and promising as a gumball that loses
flavor after six chews, seven, the only
place we could even find
such gumballs was in the entrance
for Snyders which was where we went,
age 9, when we finally got around
to telling our parents about the project
due the next day on which, no, we hadn't
done any work + so late-night homework
+ mewing anxiety, the feral cat of the
oh shit fear we'd more fully understand
years later when taking calls from loves whispering
                                                    I'm late
or the later nights of our ambery 20's,
driving home belly full + one eye closed
sucking pennies because we'd heard
the act would help if we were confronted
with a breathalyzer, to think we ever
believed any currency—pocketed, sucked,
sunk into a good-looking truck, dark red,
plunked into any pool, wish attached—
would be enough to buy our way
out from inside our own, only breaths.