The Main Event
The man standing behind me in Target tells his buddy
his workplace is creating a fight club.
And I wonder if hands will be thrown in the name of
middle management and manhood
or if the employees will simply be arguing back and forth,
pointing fingers like political parties stressing
just how wrong
the other one is.
I recently read about a man dying immediately after
entering a taco-eating contest.
The coroner officially listed choking as the cause of death,
but what are the odds the autopsy would also show
ego and competition are
I understand the dynamics of blowing off steam.
I’ve studied how the mouth forms a shape just small enough
to free the air from the toxic body,
but large enough to proclaim and pronounce
I struggle with how much of my personal life
to share in a poem.
Should I say how the fissures from my own darkness
spread until I was ready to stop lamenting
the curvature of imperfect lines,
finally ready to plug the cracks
and resurrect the foundation?
Or should I just say,
Earthquakes suck, man.
Is there a Richter scale that ranges from self-pity to rehabilitation?
How well can you withstand
what is eating you alive?
It’s often a case of self vs. selfless,
the poet vs. the person,
picking your punches
as if the next uppercut to the gut
could end it all.
About the Author: 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). His poetry can be found in The Los Angeles Review, PANK, Barrelhouse, and elsewhere. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and he is an Associate Poetry Editor at Backbone Press. He lives and teaches in Long Beach, CA
Image Credit: “A Boxing Match” (1890) The Library of Congress