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Daniel Romo

Lines that Stuck Out After Watching The Notebook for the First Time at 49
Things I say to Myself 6 Months from When I Turn 50?

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird. 
            I’m not a carpenter.
            But I’m an expert craftsman at building up 
            sky-high expectations:
                        flailing, wishful,

I want all of you, forever, everyday. 
You and me… everyday.

            We thought we’d have accomplished more 
            by now—I whisper to myself in plural.

It was an improbable romance. 
He was a country boy. 
She was from the city.

            The capitol and name of my current state 
            are both named “Loss.”

There are no monuments dedicated to me 
and my name will soon be forgotten. 

            I wonder if my wife was truly able to hear the echoes in
            the caverns of my void when I told her
            I understand why men my age undergo mid-life crises.

This is my home now.
            A door opens. Two close. 
            Where are all the houses that are 
            on the market?

You are and always have been, my dream.
            If I close my eyes tight enough, I feel the 
           breeze from the latest decade of my life 
            passing me by as if salute followed by 

It was real, wasn't it? You and me. 
Such a long time ago, we were just a couple of kids. 
But we really loved each other, didn't we?

            Why did it take me so many years to realize
            we are not the men we used to be?

            I just pray that I mattered.
Science goes only so far and then comes God.
Daniel Romo is the author of Bum Knees and Grieving Sunsets (FlowerSong Press 2023), Moonlighting as an Avalanche (Tebot Bach 2021), Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press 2019), and other books. His writing and photography can be found in The Los Angeles Review, Yemassee, Hotel Amerika, and elsewhere. He received an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and he lives, teaches, and rides his bikes in Long Beach, CA. More at
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