December 10, 2009 by The Citron Review
by Daniel Romo
The wide receiver who plays for New York,
Whose team actually plays in New Jersey,
Accidentally shot himself at 1 a.m.
In the nightclub.
The one who made that catch as if
Every muscle and nerve in his taut body
Had been preparing for that Superbowl moment
Ever since he left the inner city.
The one with the cool nickname
That bestows him an All-Pro cog
In an I-formation constellation.
Why can’t teachers be christened slick monikers?
We sweat too.
Like Lightnin’, or Bolt.
I’d want to be called, “Rainmaker.”
“Rainmaker. Are we gonna’ write an essay today,
Because I hate essays.”
“Rainmaker. My mom wants to have a parent conference with you,
Because she wants to know why you’re failing me.”
“Rainmaker… You’re my favorite teacher.”
The judge gave him a minimum of twenty months
For shooting himself in the thigh,
While Buckner got twenty years
For shooting himself in the foot,
Failing to get down far enough on the
Slow roller to first.
“Rainmaker. Who’s Buckner?”
“The world is going to end soon,”
My brother informed me
At our family barbecue
In my parents’ front yard.
“Chemtrails! Too many damn people.
They’re tryin’ to kill us! Chemtrails man…”
I pretended to listen.
My tousled hair blew in overzealous summer wind,
While 17 ladybugs that looked like
Rambled along my arm.
I was reminded of my 6th birthday party,
High fructose corn syrup children
Frenzied, then crashing,
Aimlessly wandering my backyard
Looking for their mothers.
But today I ate too much carne asada.
My brother drank too much beer.
And a yellow Miata headed our way
Then made a u-turn
Noticing the sign—
Not a through street.
“Friggin’ conspiracy man…”
Not a through street
Not a complete thought
And they flew away,
A spotted, ruddy procession of gentility,
While the Chemtrails laughed overhead.
My brother says,
“It’s the end…”
Daniel Romo teaches high school creative writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA. He has most recently been published in poeticdiversity, Monkeybicycle, and The Northville Review. He is an MFA candidate at Antioch University, and thinks gray sky is the utmost inspiration. More of his writing can be found here – danielromo.net