Gina Keicher

Date Night Beneath Movie Marquee

Dear Francis, Do you dream in color
and do you think it makes you special?
You watch French films in the next room.
I was once the first out of bed,
saying this tooth, this death,
this wallet, this Paris. Going forth
into daylight with shows to watch.
Mostly animal docudramas.
Some days are like shadows,
each minute a still in a montage
of movie falls. Shadow on the creek
surface. Shadow wrapped
in woman-shroud.
Shadow outside the State Theatre,
staring up at lights and listings:
The Exorcist, Pulp Fiction.
Doomed romance on an ocean liner.
We could buy a ticket roll,
perforated and green. Enter a party
crab-walking down the stairs.
If you need me, I’ll be smoking
on the bed while someone prays
the evil out of me, my hair damp
with religion and melted iceberg.
I want you to draw me
like one of your French ghosts
with a face that knows no more
sad anniversaries, wishes for perfect lives,
or cursing the old year
as the new one begins.
No more men in dinged up cars,
talking at me out the window.
One wears a bandana
and a neon green shirt, like Hulk Hogan
in a dented grey car, calling me
someone else’s name. Jennifer,
maybe. Je t’aime, Jennifer.
I don’t love you, stranger.
Je ne t’aime pas, Hulk Hogan.


Gina Keicher is the author of Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press, 2014) and Here is My Adventure I Call it Alone (dancing girl press, 2015). Recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Salt Hill, and Tupelo Quarterly. Gina lives in Ithaca, New York, where she is an associate editor for Black Lawrence Press and a lecturer at Ithaca College.