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angelgabriel

 

8.5″ x 11″ mixed media collage, recycled magazine paper, tracing paper

13 years ago, my son Gabriel was born … 12/26/99 … he just became a teenager and even though I am completely an atheist, I can’t escape my Catholic roots … thus a made myself a totem I will turn to when I need advice … notice I made his mouth WIDE open … so I can hear what he’s saying.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2012. All rights reserved.

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That first bite full of delicious

temptation filled their minds

with more stars than the heavens

granted every night.

 

They awoke like gods

to see their bars and did not

want to go on living caged

and kept like well-trained pets.

They saw that the garden

was no more than a zoo where they

had arrived late. After light and the

firmament and the fish and fauna …

but better off than the angels

who had already been taken into bondage.

 

Looking back they would forget

that they had lost nothing, and learned

that the sky had a reason for being blue;

and that apples could be had

any time of any day.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

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Perdoname
 
      as I tell this
          because it is remembered
     in more than one language
          slipping between tongues

     twisted by root meanings

               Padre nuestro,
               que estas en el cielo
 
how do I decide

     where the truth

 

          la verdad
 
     is when I rely on memories
          spoken in broken Spanglish?

 

               Santificado sea su nobre.
 
Whole conversations
     that I’ve had in my life

          that are lost not just

     to time but also

          to palabras perdidas

     tambien

               Venga tu reino
               Hágase tu voluntad
 
I have lost so much more

     to yesterday than I have

          to ayer o el dia pasado    

but death is hardly tampoco

          a match for la muerte I will take death

1,000,000,000,000 times

          Over una muerte

               En la tierra como en el cielo
 
Because I was first afraid
     of the dark in Spanish

          then certain things will always

remain in that language

     Veo la luz
     Vivo el dia
     Tomo el agua
     Amo ha mi madre

     Trago mi comida

 

The English of my conversation

          has turned out not to be

            any sort of escape from    

those awful terrors

but a sharp, cold burrowing tool.

               Danos hoy el pan de este día
               y perdona nuestras deudas
 
The reality is

     I am losing everything

          in these translations

I cannot balance the equation that I am –

          the calculus of my temporary stages

Whenever I’ve stopped to observe it

          I affected the outcome

          and rendered it all useless

Proof of how loco estoy

               como nosotros perdonamos
               nuestros deudores

 always the two sides

          se quieren matar

because there is no hero

          solo maldades y el diablo

a desperate tale of minor

     chapters I can’t write down

     because I was born

          naci aqui,

between times and tongues

               y no nos dejes caer en la tentación

     sometimes I wonder what

      the voices are really saying

        because they are as grainy as the faces

          they belonged to and the reason

           I love watching sand and thinking

how their ancestors

     las montanas, las piedras          

were cut down to size sobre tiempo    

by el mar y el viento

               sino que líbranos del malo

               Amen.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.

 

 

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