Christa Romanosky

Hitting A Dog On A Back Country Road

Water just wants to ply with sky, 
ride upon a variable, string you along 

as charge for the horizon. You read a lot,
lap the neighborhood twilight, eat only 

purple things: eggplant, wine. React to insult 
with so sue me, offend enemies: I know you are

but what am I? Get to the “i” section of dictionary
without ever seeing ibex.  Gravity’s reverse  

archeology, you never get high enough 
to let anything go. You are twenty-five, an accumulator

of bar tabs. A tobacco rub, belly dawning a routine 
beneath your coat. Always a hangover you won’t forget—

Greene County never left you. Deep in alfalfa-lined   
highway, an elkhound rushes

your truck. You dig entropy, but everything 
resists.  Blood traffic, dashing towards creeks

to lave daylight.  Animal gutter, you leave it 
behind, to a bar where there are 

no birthdays, no one misses, has to 
kiss you. You read about impact in the books.

I Move Into a Brand New Studio With Dr. Kevorkian


Dislocation, the body count: we are in cahoots. Simulated altitude, the hype, the Freon rumble of sky. First a geriatric, then a comatose, on it goes. Then we are alone in this studio apartment, and like a doper, I notice the veins in the walls. There is a tv and a dj turntable, an iris in a vase knocked-over. “This is good,” I tell myself. “This is living.”  We make little diagrams of Thanatrons, engage in tantric yoga, vegetarianism, we are growing wise to the process. 


“You’ve gone overboard,” he says, when I color my Thanatron green. 
He prefers things that lie parallel to the horizon, and I’m willing 

to accessorize.  I wear stripes in all my memories, I am only twenty-four 
and Dr. Kevorkian shows me his gun. I show him

my pill collection.  We touch. Affection, yes, I want to be affected.  Talk to me, 
I tell him. Let me touch these hands.  While I take a shower, he melts the records 

over the stove. No one knows. How we fight our own music, 
these are my hands, too. My hair is wet when I lay down on the turntable. Better yet, 

analgesic unhealing, and out of the fumes, I make myself an orphan. He diagnoses 
the silence as terminal. “Prove it,” I say. “I need proof.” 


                                    I watch my veins, and we divide 
the assets. 
                                    “I’m lying,” I say. “I prefer living 
                                    This is good,” he says, “lying is a favorable condition.” 
In this studio apartment
                                    We listen to the I.V. drip. I push buttons. 
I am getting too old
                                    for this, I tell him, we are livid.

Christa Romanosky is Pittsburgh, PA native. Her poems have been published in The Kenyon Review Online, Cream City Review, Columbia Poetry Journal, North American Review, and elsewhere. Her fiction is featured in The Kenyon Review Online, Cincinnati Review, and is forthcoming in Boston Review.