Literary Orphans

Two Things
by Daniel Romo



I told my wife, Stop feeding bacon to the cat,

before she sat down at the desk working from the Mac.

I’m quite certain swine isn’t compatible with felines.


My teenage son and I sit on the couch playing an app.

We are archers shooting an arrow through an apple

perched on a man’s head.

Bullseye: the archer moves farther back.

Bodily contact: the man collapses, spasms, and blood

spurts from his body like a debauched fountain.


My daughter lies on her bed and FaceTimes with her friend,

even though, in only a few hours, they will be able to reveal,

face-to-face, the vital secrets of nine-year-olds.

They are little girls raised on i-things: shiny, convenient,



My wife screams and we all rush to see what’s happened,

pausing ourselves in the process.

The cat’s claw quickly, clumsily, snatching bacon from her palm—

as if he knew they were both doing wrong.


There are moments when our lives are more wi-fi than landline.

When what we require to survive comes with a pricey warranty,

and we are all too eager to pay for it.


We check to make sure she is okay.

A quick run under cold water, and we deem her finger will live

another day.


We return to what we were doing.

A family so technological.

So human.


O Typekey Divider


The insomniac perpetually rises and shines.

Limbs are stretched to maximum capacity.

Yawning’s become as natural as breathing.


He remains naked because either

there’s no need for pajamas, or,

no need for casual clothing.

Sunday Best is never confused with

bumming it.

Yet he wears the bags under his eyes, daily.

Or, nightly.


Paired with a black bow tie fitting snugly

around his neck,

one might mistake him for death.

Or, life.

O Typekey Divider


Daniel Romo is the author of When Kerosene’s Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013).  His poetry can be found in the Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Hobart, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing and lives in Long Beach, CA. More of his writing can be found at