Gina Keicher




Date Night in High Humidity


Dear Francis, Leaving is equal parts
laundry and vinegar, hot water
and baking soda. Your fingernails, 
chipped in work, serrate our yellow sheets. 
We wake up inside a toaster. 
We step on crumbs to reach the door.
You have this flair for knowing 
absence. There is sunlight in Alaska. 
A thing I smell when I know it. 
The matchless sound. Wood on wood. 
Thousands of minerals pressed into rock 
make me dizzy. Eight hours to build 
a night make us less sharp. You bring 
the bottle. I wear my dress bathed
in my want for rain, steeped in sweat. 
We swing on the porch, watch 
the neighborhood wave in the heat. 
Cars shimmer in driveways. 
Kids crack eggs on the tar. Summer swells 
doorframes. The car handle burns. 
Makes driving a chore. Show me 
your fingers, the small cuts between them.
The street is a mall. Bags of tissue and gifts. 
A man in an apron tells people to get married.
If we pull up the rug, we will find history. 
We will find space and people who starved 
when they floated off into the universe. 
Stains that could be patterns in the grain. 
A lost ring or missing button. Lighter inside 
than out. We may be seen as ash or night 
debris. Even closing a door quietly 
is a difficult sound to repeat.