Tag Archives: poems about students

Picture in the Paper

for ADC who we tried to save, but it wasn’t meant to be.

In the picture in the paper

he is wearing the same hoodie

that I had to ask him to take down

the few days he came to school.

This will be his yearbook picture

now, next to the other kid charged

in the crime who is also seventeen

and is facing charges of causing mayhem

at seven pm on Halloween.

And with the broken legs and fractured

eye sockets, they stormed into their dreams

and locked themselves into the one room

no one wants to die in.

They sold themselves back to the State

and granted dominion of their daily routines,

and pleasures and hates

to the faceless and heartless machine.

And in the picture in the paper

he is just seventeen and will discover

too late what it all means.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.


“All I wanted”,  

she says licking tears

that taste like the spray

of a tropical storm,

“was for him to love me”.


Hiccuping breaths,

she lowers her eyes

to keep from sailing

back to her memories;

but her swollen lids

press into her face –

and remind her of his hands …

so she cries some more.


“I know”, 

she says,

“he loved me,

but he had to break me too”,

and that was the wave

that washed her up on my shores.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2010. All rights reserved.


 for the HHS Young Men’s Group, 2009


I know you already been drafted


that you been called to duty

by other armies of the imagination.

I see your uniforms –

skinny jeans below your ass

revealing brand name elastics,

and pretending a connection

to prison cell stories,

where young boys like you

become beautiful concubines

to be traded amongst older men

with truer tales of horror

and nothing left outside the walls

that keep them until death.

I know. They came for me once too.


I know that you been sold

a dream of how to be a man

holding your hands

balled and ready to blast,

that you’ve been promised

a connection to the past

and a key to greater pastures,

because I can read

your feathers and spots,

I know the whys and whats

of your beads and ways and tats

the bandanas that you fly

to mark a space,

the hoods you wear

to hide your face,

colors that will grace

your resting place.

I know. They came for me once too.


They came for me, but I escaped,

and I escaped, only to warn you.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

Absence note

 To who it might concern:


Please accuse J___

for missing school last

week. My ex-boyfriend

has been threatning

and stalking me and

J___ was shopping,

for protection, with his

cousin in New Jersey.

Thank you for calling

to check up on him.



J______ R_____

(J___’s mother)


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

Catching kids cutting

     1st of all

       you never read

       so why would you

       ever have a book

       in your hands

       except to hide

       your guilty mug

       from me?

          2nd of all

       you’re holding a

       crossword puzzle

       book which requires

       work which you

       hate and a writing


       which you never

       have so why would

       you be looking

       through that?


now that you have

my attention which

is all you really


what are you doing here?


This is not a rhetorical question.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

the science of supersition

On the same day

     that the Large Hadron Collider

     was turned on to peel away

     the secrets of the universe

          by smashing circling atoms

          at near absolute zero

          at nearly the speed of light

     into each other

I had to listen to someone

     tell me how Nostradamus

     had predicted that this

     day would come.

I explained that the Mayans knew it first.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

colliding into youth

A hundred times a day

     they come at me

exotic particles from

     extra dimensions

from places I can’t imagine

     where the gravity

of a mother’s laughter

     doesn’t exist

in universes

     where there are

no points of light

     no bursting celebrations

against the darkness

     but only constellations

of sorrow and bad choices

     galaxies where black holes

are the safest place to be

     far from a father’s belt

or worse still shielded

     from the background radiation

left by the people

     who lent their

dust to make you


A hundred times a day

     I collide into the antimatter

          Of, whatever…

          Of, so what?

          Of, leave me the fuck alone.

I collide and neutralize

          With, here’s why

          And, because it matters

          And, as long as we are

both real and traveling

in the same space

at the same time

we will be drawn together

because opposites attract

and excite to the point

of explosion.


Just as before time

     there was no other

because we were one,

     now we leave traces

that verify the other’s existence.


Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.