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Daniel Romo

Playing Chicken

We believe our head of steam can power
enough gusto to smash through remnants of
childhood trauma and uncooperative
blood pressure.
             But the temptation of giving in to our triggers
and our craving for chili fries rivals
even the most determined of

I’ve seen men fall and sometimes land
and the beauty isn’t in the recovery,
but in the way they carry their brokenness
everywhere they go,
holding their mended mess like
a pile of ash and evidence
presented before a jury of their own
plummeted peers.

I confess I’ve sabotaged achieving my
dreams because then
             what would I have to look forward to?

The barista tells her coworker that all her nieces
are Scorpios and I always shudder at such talk
because to reduce stars to guiding others’ lives
is at best a
disservice to the sky.

Sometimes I feel survivor’s guilt
when I drive by Wendy’s on Christmas Eve
and see single men bring burgers
to their mouths,
just before closing their eyes
in prayer or plea,
as if looking God in the face,
seeing who will blink

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