Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SNOW COME, by MICHAEL WATERS

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SNOW COME, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Her tongue mimicked the color of her bikini
Last Line: The sun-bleached, primeval hoops of teeth.
Variant Title(s): Snow Cone
Subject(s): Desire; Seashore; Story-telling; Beach; Coast; Shore

Her tongue mimicked the color of her bikini
after she'd licked the cherry
snow cone, & the tip of the paper cup
dripped fluorescent beads of syrup,
cool pinpricks, onto her oiled belly,
the electric swirl pooling her pierced
navel where the gold ring flashed.
I told her its glittering would attract
sharks, how a novice scuba diver
skimming the reef off the Caribbean
coast of Costa Rica—I smiled at her—
had been taken headfirst into the maw
of a six-foot mako & blamed the attack
on the cluster of studs rimming one ear.
He'd managed to tear free & flail wildly
to shore. Here I stroked her plaited hair.
The scars raking his skull seemed tribal,
hewn in some Land-That-Time-Forgot coming-of-age
ritual, but the raw stubs of his lobes
oozed a milky gel that caked his cheeks.
As she jerked her braised shoulders
in a tableau of revulsion, undone
straps whisking sand, the icy
flavor overflowed her belly button,
ruby rill snaking toward her tan-line,
then under the rim of triangular cloth.
She gazed at me now, propped on both
elbows, the snow cone like a splintery bulb
generated by body heat, its slow leak
shape-shifting her pubis into a relief
map of a savvy Third World country
that exports slashed fins for soup
but saves, for the occasional tourist
blundering through the market square
in search of a cheap souvenir,
the sun-bleached, primeval hoops of teeth.

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