I show up unarmed. My pockets stuffed with barns. The animals I carry
around share noise like heat. My calves share vicious longing. Some moose
on the opposite side of the fence evaluates the land’s minor qualities.
When summer nears my hemisphere I put on my yellow shirt and hold dearly to the weathervane. My feet stamp the sundial. I harbor an unwavering, special faith in time as it is articulated by the sun.
The rooster’s iridescent tongue is too inexact. Copper feathers rust green. Morning’s most brazen general silhouetted on a yellow sign.
My meteorologist wears a grey vest like a groom. Notes weather like holidays. Warns against sirens. At least there is time to run from the swell that happens. Circle-shaped air. Flat ground.
The air pressure toys with the temperature, the forehead. My temples tell time by how they sweat. The machines have all hidden. How undisciplined the grass against my legs.
At last: some barometric measure of how I feel about open spaces.
Water like snow or sea. For years. A face. Water in the sink with the clogged drain. Memory, too, cools to room temperature.
Bedrooms all across town. Radios switched on over the area. Who knows how many were tuned inexactly. The jukebox hungry for money. Radio waves glimmered back.
At the shows my friends and I wore our hair black. Eyelids shadowed peacock blue. In the worst season I wore hallways on my face.
A compact pressed between fingers and palm. The sponge flattened by machine. And then, usage. The kind that takes months. Takes a mouth to feel a toothache. Takes a mouth to be brave.
To get anyplace. It takes a skilled driver to do that. A bag full of firecrackers, pressed against my cheek to get home in the dark.
Gina Keicher earned her BA and MFA from Syracuse University. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Dark Sky, DIAGRAM, Foothill, Harpur Palate, H_NGM_N, ILK, Nano Fiction, Ninth Letter, Paper Darts, and Stone Canoe. She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband.