“Year in Review” by Daniel Romo

Reading by the author

Just after Christmas the newscaster lamented,
This has been a year to forget, as if memories can be
sifted and strained with a colander for the brain,

but I’m inclined to believe that purposely failing
to remember is like throwing the entire contents
of your soul down the garbage disposal when all

you really had to do was wait and see what you
could prepare from the leftovers. In my dream
last night, my son and daughter floated with me

in an ocean, and when my daughter said, I wonder
how deep it is
, I wanted to reply, Pretty darn deep,
however, I didn’t want my experience with

darkness and depths to taint their views of
buoyancy. A father can teach his children how
to swim, but what’s more important is guiding

them in how not to drown. The college running
back who died in an accidental shooting over the
weekend obviously didn’t mean to put a bullet in

his abdomen, yet I imagine his mother wishes she
would’ve warned him just once more of the effects
of gun control. And at the beginning of each year,

resolutions are made that will never be kept, because
what good is a promise to yourself when you can’t
recall the certainty of hurt, the shade of failure.

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 has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and he lives and teaches in Long Beach, CA. More at danielromo.wordpress.com

Image: “White House Tweet Erasure” by Daniel Romo

Special Feature: F2020

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