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We never cared for opera, our mouths were just for kissing: maps, fast food,
phosphorescent bourbon, then you went rogue, and that was life. I followed

horoscopes, fortune-tellers into heavenly basements, anything was better
if I felt “found.” She said, “You will have success but never love.” I wanted

someone to prove it. Sunflowers strung into gravely sunlight, littered
cities, everything else gleaned. And I thought of you on jets, worldwide,

dreaming of Carl Sagan, eating tortoise on Western shores, not yet
holy but believing in strategies and making deadlines – while I watched

red plum saplings sprout like pins, crawled into sauna just to feel
the threshold met, time perch – everything exhale claret. Not dreaming

but becoming more animal. The fuzz of my thigh lifting
when doorways gaped, prayers exhumed. That is how I went about my life

waiting for you: developing pyrotechnic tendencies, a sixth sense for dangerous
men. Sometimes indulging, but never resulting. I still believe

you must get under things to understand anyone, but I prefer
to make quick exits, avoid ruins. Often I am not “lost” at all, but missing

childhood, maternal soothe. They say “solo” is not technically
a disorder, but the factories close around me, and the nights stay up so late.

Christa Romanosky is a writer and educator from Northern Appalachia. She currently teaches and develops creative writing and STEM curriculum for the Gelfand Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Recent work has appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Glimmer Train, Hotel Amerika, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. You can read more work at

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