Naked on the Internet

One time I tried being naked on the internet. A friend and I wore underwear in a shower. In the photo, we are smiling. Our eyes are closed. Another friend shot, her hair rolled in soda cans. She was going somewhere later. I was only half naked and a little embarrassed. Another day, on a sofa, I held a record over my chest. Fingernails stained fuchsia and chipped. The room's needle static, glowing and dreamy. These days I clomp around the house, bending back my leg. A nude heel dangles from my ankle and then I come back. I put on my red jacket and walk to work. I walk as if I have never been naked on the internet. As if I have always been naked on the internet. I want people to believe their bodies are good. I have this friend who looks good. She says she is a feminist because she is naked on the internet. I say, friend, I'm not sure that's how it works. There are stores for shoes, stores for lingerie. Is my friend a feminist because she is naked on the internet or is she naked on the internet because she is a feminist? See all this skin. These places for loneliness. The sounds we make when we feel good. I would give a lot for one of those robes. I walk around in tall shoes and this blue corset with a name that makes me dangerous. With this name I have no age and no care. With this name I have no regard for the law. The law does not say sorry. The law says get inside with our skin but do not leave home without it. We carry these big bags, selves and lipsticks inside. The trains let us on and the trains let us off. We wait for the next. Our bags overflow. These people, this pretty. We stand on the platforms, dressed like we are cured of pretty. I would give anything for one black garter belt. One stunned video camera. A pair of stockings with seams up the back. A hot set in a hotel room, a professional crew, expert mouths saying, "Give me. Give me." But not my heart. Not my heart. This wide-mouthed tobacco jar filled with a bank's worth of cab fare, filled with your eyes. I would give anything for a red lipstick tinted the correct ratio of blue to violet.

Gina Keicher is the author of the poetry collection Wilderness Champion (Gold Wake Press, 2014). A graduate of Syracuse University's MFA program in Creative Writing, Gina is currently an Associate Editor for Black Lawrence Press. She lives with her husband, their cat, and their dog in Ithaca, New York. Visit her online at