goodbye, to a few men and mi vieja

Sunday, December 30, 2007.

Like so many 

on the eve of maybe

beginning another year

we expect to complete,

I found myself looking

at one of those lists

saying goodbye to people

most of us never meet,

but who we somehow “know”.

Of the fifty faces

this site listed,

I paused to say goodbye

to a few men



who shared with me

more than words.

And I raced to find this picture

of my vieja, mi abuela —

who this past year we buried

after years of faint departures —

and while no one knew her

in the crowd,

she made for me the difference,

in the corners of her empanadas,

and the meter of her laughter.

Before I ever read a single word,

it was mi abuela’s stories

that I heard.

mi vieja

© 2007 henry toromoreno

a terse history of communication

What we talked about when we huddled ‘round fire

was closer to truth, to god and desire.

What we say to each other when connected by phone

e-mail, or blackberry, still leaves us feeling alone.

What we heard about when we sat around listening in caves

was news of real things that connected our ways.

What we hear nowadays is about red-carpet events

making sure we continue manufacturing consent.

 © 2007 henry toromoreno

his math collides with scripture

On the first floor of 317 Matthew Street,

          the hero of the day comes to believe

          the voices that he’s hearing are not in his head.

The instructions are in words he knows he’s seen before.

But the way they’re spoken now, is like they’re straight from revelation.

He tries to calm himself by not thinking of temptation,

          but the dirty number 8, splits the seal and takes his reasons for salvation.

For thirty minutes he is desperate, searching for his gun.

When looking out the window, remembering the genesis

          of this twenty second day of march.

How upon his early rising and taking stock of his surroundings,

          he started hearing trumpets, while he was dressing for his job.

© henry toromoreno