August 18, 2009

Daniel Romo

Last Summer

We ran Ibex Avenue—
Staying out as late as we could
Observing the crickets,
Before our mothers called us
In three different languages.
For a late dinner.

Paul called everyone
A dickhead that year,
And Tony kissed all three of the
Hernandez girls,
Even Eva with the mole on her neck
Shaped like a churro.

On Saturdays we played with a
Lopsided rubber basketball
In my fissured driveway,
My senile neighbor's begonias,
And then drank from her tired hose,
Letting the water dribble down
Our scrawny chests
Before tossing it aside
Proudly looking up to the August sky
With palms outstretched
As if we were

When we heard the incantations
Of the Indian ice cream man,
We ran inside our homes
Gathering change to buy
Mexican candies made
With trace amounts of lead,
And sweet cigarettes
With powdered sugar tips.

We didn't call each other
For enticing the ladybugs
To crawl up our fingertips.
We saved bravado for our dads,
Who cursed at the TV
When the Dodgers lost.

We all even cried
When I moved away.

I hear Paul has testicular cancer now.
And Tony is paying alimony to four exes.
But we were bad asses then.

Lying on rooftops,
Humming the song
Of the ice cream man,
Puffing away on
Candy cigs.


Daniel Romo lives in Southern California and teaches high school there. He has been published in various forums, and is currently seeking admittance into a rather swell low residency MFA program. He strives to be witty and relevant in his poetry, but claims to use first person too much. He's addicted to SportsCenter and thinks gray sky the utmost inspiration.

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