This isn’t one of those places where bioluminescent creatures light the shoreline by night and the waves rise tall, pull plants skyward like looming tentacles. This is standing on the corner, fixing my hair with one hand, wood-and-white-leather Candies heels dangling from the other. Pretty Undertaker leans on a postal drop bin, then the man with ship wheel halves tattooed beside his ears. The bartender says, Is this what’s happening in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? the second we walk in the place. I think we are dancing, my camouflage-printed corduroy skirt turns on my hips. We dance like we are prom queens. We dance with Collins glasses in our hands, tall opalescent drinks named for an heiress. Can’t say for sure when night becomes my dress, the skirt. No matter how hard I try not to suck the chicken wing bones I am always sucking the chicken wing bones. No matter how hard I try to stand in the stairwell, I fall into Pretty Undertaker and the man with the ship wheels beside his ears. I become soda on the couch bubbling over from all I drank.
Gina Keicher is the author of Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press, 2014) and two chapbooks — Here is My Adventure I Call it Alone (2015) and Ars Herzogica (forthcoming, 2018) — both from Dancing Girl Press. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Quarterly West, 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.