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  You could have a big dipper   

Desiring Sunlight by Daniel Romo

I knew I was too old to go down the hill even before I

slammed on the brakes and flipped over the handlebars

as the asphalt awaited to high-five

my sliding body.

I understood how vernacular of the day changes,

but the meaning is never outdated as I whispered, YOLO,

deciding pride outweighed preservation and I descended

as if the failure to do so would be worse than

the fall.

Because the body has the capacity to put itself

back together; pain is never to drawn to scale,

but just how is the ego


How many badges do our puffed-out chests wear

that we didn’t truly


The physician examined me during my follow-up

and advised, Use pain as your guide.

And I wish someone with a doctorate in Life would’ve

been that direct long ago

so I could’ve saved myself from going up and down

hills and valleys that resulted in scars

that still itch,


I inspect the plant in the living room that keeps

losing its leaves despite my providing a

generous supply of water and wonder how much air

a man needs to breathe,

how long it takes for that same man

to wilt.


Daniel Romo is the author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press 2019), When Kerosene’s Involved (Mojave River Press 2014), and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press 2013). He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and he lives, teaches, and bench presses in Long Beach, CA. More at

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