Monday, February 23, 2009


Daniel Romo

I was in third grade when my mom bought me
A pair of denim pants the color of throw up.
And I told her they looked like throw up.
And she told me that’s what "they" are wearing.
Though she never did say who "they" were.
But I’ve grown up Mom,
And I finally know who "they" are.
— They are young Latino mothers
Who drag their children ‘cross town
From garage sale to garage sale
And then on to Sears
Every Saturday morning,
And push Graco strollers every Halloween
-Sans costumes-
With those Sears bags tied to them
Unabashedly expecting candy
For six month old babies.
And maybe it is for their six month old babies,
And their costumes are simply
Young Latino mothers.
— They are awkward poets,
In the good awkward way,
Quirky educated hipsters who think too much
Ands sport Melton wool caps
Spending hours in bookstores
Talking to themselves under their breaths
In dialects only other good awkward people
Appreciate and understand,
Who take occasional breaks reading published peers
Properly reshelving those peers despite knowing
They’re more accomplished,
Just less connected.
—They are silly girls
Who dress silly, and act silly, and kiss silly,
And smile silly,
Who like serious things
Like good film, good literature, good music,
And good men,
And listen to R.E.M. when they can’t sleep
Contemplating nightswimming
In his too honest not honest enough eyes
And surmise sometimes incorrectly,
They are silly girls who left me.
They are overworked inner city teachers
Going and making the proverbial distance
And difference.
They are suburban white boys nodding
Trust fund heads up and down to Tupac
Who think they have a free pass
To use the "n" word in their wannabe existence.
They are devoted Target consumers.
They are stronger people for being
Victims of unfounded rumors.
They are tenement single mothers.
They are medal of valor brothers,
Crude casualties of mistaken identity.
They are nomadic spirits who spend
Christmas Eve in fast food joints
Fading into Santa Ana sunsets
Like buffalo nickels in wishing wells.
They are Rwandan rebels just growing
Pubic hair unaware that Call of Duty
Is just a video game.
They are biracial presidents.
They are legal and illegal residents.
They are sad stories put to pretty music.
They are the Indians and the Calvary.
They are whoever you want them to be.
They are so fuckin’ stupid.
They are so fuckin’ beautiful.
They are the ones who finally did
Grow up.
And Mom,
They did look like throw up.

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