This locket is not empty, but filled with two

wet ghosts. In my sleep, your mouth is cinnamon.

You pack lunch before I wake up. I like it

when we get in deep water together.

When we get in at the same time.

We tie two inner tubes together and float.

We sip beer and say, “When we are old…”

When I say “you” I hope you feel special.

Also, here is this gift wrapped in newspaper.

Your favorite comic strip. Your preferred

political figure. Your ideal day

on the weather page. Half the sun peers

from a full cloud. The yellow ink

does not smudge like ink that says,

“Accident,” or ink that says, “Gunman.”

I want you to stop calling time

and temperature to feel less alone.

When did you get so shiny? Your face

in sunlight. My hands cup my mouth—

a megaphone, or the sign for whistling

on a blade of grass. The green ribbon sounds

like us in the river, afraid water snakes.

We carry rocks in a basket and crack

them open on shore, hoping for geodes.

Behold my high ponytail as we swing

picks at these geodes. Your hair like dark,

wet sand where I write the message:

every day is a great hair day on the river

with you. We come home

to construction. We make a feeling.

Skin like a letter, skin in a language.

Your French is shabby, so this cinnamon

will do. Each day we smell the feeling.

We drag rocks down the wide river.

We write each other’s name on the thick

rubber tubes. We write in river water.

Ink that disappears when it dries,

ink that says, “Swim” or “Carry.”

 

 

 

keicherGina Keicher is the author of Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press, 2014) and the forthcoming chapbook Here Is My Adventure I Call It Alone (dancing girl press, 2015). A graduate of Syracuse University’s MFA program in Creative Writing, Gina is currently an associate editor for Black Lawrence Press. Recent work appears in Big Lucks, Birdfeast, and Green Mountains Review. She lives in Ithaca, NY with her husband, their cat, and their dog.

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