Daniel T. O’Brien


I am a fucked-up face you’ve never been to
before—: teething concrete to find my way
to you. I will sell myself for your sleep, hold
your head when you’re falling

paradoxical—: dream of me when I start
doing things for free, growing wings
to circumnavigate the road in your mouth
—: around, around. You said, “Normal.

Like a mom and a dad and a dog, and shit
like that. Normal. Normal… I feel like
I’m well adjusted.” I will adjust to your well-adjustment:

never had a dog or a normal dad, either. I do not feel sorry
for us. I will never leave you in Rome. I will never leave
you. I love you & you don’t have to pay me.


Daniel T. O’Brien is a writer and poet living in Mohegan Lake, NY. His poems have previously appeared in the Susquehanna Review and Gandy Dancer, and his poem “Daughter Nuclide,” was named honorable mention for the 2013 Red Hen Press Poetry Award. He has written articles for the New York Daily News and the Geneseo Scene magazine. He currently works for the Hudson Valley Writers Center and Slapering Hol Press in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and is a poetry intern for The Believer. He will be joining the MFA program at the Ohio State University in the fall.