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Category archive for: Gina Keicher

from Occasional Chainsaws in the Valley of Eternal Sorry

In the abandoned mall, I climb in the empty fountain smudged with sea foam green rust, the fleur de sel pennies leave. The feeling is not new. One June, I was a baby beauty queen up the hall. Baby is wrong. I was five, describing my cat in terms of eating and sleeping habits. Never sought a kitten to imprint early—no one owns a cat anyhow—but like a cat I reached for every sun blot that fell in the windows, brushed my head on furniture and those I loved, sought connection. On stage, I wore stiff Aqua Net locks, a show pony smile. Outside after, my hair fell in the heat.There’s a shoebox in my closet—greeting cards, dance programs to swear by. I was someone. I was girl, smelling like fruit, flowers, and alcohol spritzed on neck and wrists. Sometimes I still see the bath shop awning, red-and- white gingham. Sometimes I almost watch the videotape a boy gave me for my birthday, a cartoon wolf on the box. I still hear school bus rumors of how his mother found him—the necktie, the bunk bed—the jostle of the bus stopping and starting.This is an anti-nostalgia served in vintage Pyrex—snowflake blue, gooseberry, butterprint. Beware: scratches that leach lead into food, a dinner bell that summons memory. Beware: an oil-slick iridescence pooled on the garage floor.The cat lapping up the sweet beneath the Thunderbird.

from Poetry Northwest 13.1 Summer & Fall 2018More by Gina Keicher from the library

Copyright © Gina Keicher
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.