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Last Summer

I finally started submitting my poems to various places a couple of months ago.  I figured it was time.  This is my latest publication up today.  It appears at the link on the bottom.  Hope you like…

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.

Camroc Press Review


About Daniel Romo

Author of Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press, 2019), When Kerosene's Involved (Mojave River Press, 2014) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). I'm partial to prose poems. Alliteration. And fragments.

9 responses »

  1. Such strong characters here. The poem does have a feel of being grounded on reality, on real people.

    The slowing down of the flow near the end of the third stanza — I liked that a lot. That special pause made the image freeze in my mind for a satisfying while.


  2. I really loved this. I grew up in so many different places and this brings back so many memories for me.

    “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

    I love the visual contrast! This is my favorite part of the poem.
    And you tie it together so well in the end.
    This was a great read. (:

  3. Excellent! It’s all the little details that really make it come together for a beautiful (and bittersweet, a bit) portrait.

  4. Thank you Angie. I know this is bad, but I just noticed the “threes” now. I think I posted in the RWP news, but probably in the wrong place. Story of my life.

    • she’ll pick it up eventually and post it on the wire…hopefully!

      I do that all the time. people always seem to see things I didn’t know I even did, or they don’t see what I was trying to say. it’s funny, isn’t it?

  5. hey, congratulations Daniel!

    I like this, especially the recurring ‘threes…’
    It looks nice at the site, too. 😉

    (did you post this in RWP news?)


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