Date Night in Hell Wearing High Water Jeans

Dear Francis, Love doesn’t get to be Hell
or high water. I was thinking it has to be both.
To meet you in another hour, come Hell
and high water sounds way better than one
or the other. My dreams make sense
to everyone except me. “Another you dream
with little effort to decode,” you say
from the shower. It’s like you to say something
like that while I put on my face in the fogged
mirror. Oatmeal and almond cloud the air.
How high’s the water and where
is Hell? Is that the name of the dust floor
where we danced close? The water gets up
to your neck. When we’re at a party and you put
your hand at the small of my back, Francis,
the room improves. The room has a ceiling
and that ceiling is not a lake. A letter comes
from the city. Do we still harbor the dog?
Tonight is your night to pick date night
and tomorrow will be no one’s date night.
When you say exploitation film, I think
you say exploration film and we have
an awkward date night. The room grows
grey in leaves and legs. Hands in dirt.
A woman crawling away. The feeling is real:
wanting to close and open your eyes
to a new city where no one knows
who you are or who has touched you
and when it gets dark it gets really dark.
There is a death. The sheriff drives the streets,
looking for light. The sheriff parks the car.


Gina Keicher lives in Ithaca, NY, where she is a bookseller and feline enthusiast. She is the author of Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press) and the chapbook Here is My Adventure I Call It Alone (dancing girl press). She is an associate editor for Black Lawrence Press. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Ampersand Review, Big Lucks, Birdfeast, elsewhere, NightBlock, Whiskey Island, and Word Riot. Visit her online at