Daniel Romo, 4/19/2010

Current Occupation: content teacher at an even better high school
Former Occupation: discontent teacher at an overrated high school
Contact Information: Daniel Romo teaches high school creative writing, and lives in Long Beach, CA.  His recent poems can be found in Scythe, Fogged Clarity, and Bananafish.  He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Antioch University.  More of his writing can be found at



It’s late October. School started in early September.

And I still don’t know all the students’ names.

The one’s whose names sound like they act are easy:

“La-carcrash,” or something like that,

constantly gabbing with “Sha-talkovereverybody,”

unabashed tongues explosive like Pop Rocks,

fighting over which flavor of the month

rapper’s baby momma’ they’ll be someday.

At least they can say they have aspirations.

But who remembers the monosyllabic, Latino boys

who sit quietly in the back,

staring off distantly into sunsets of assimilation and day labor.

Juan. Gabe. Jose, who becomes Joe in class.

Will things change for them when ten years pass?

“Amigo,” their clients might say,

go ahead and water the begonias extra this week.

The Mrs. noticed they look a little tepid.”

Because who doesn’t want to be someone else’s friend?

I’d love an electronic response from a prominent poetry publication

informing me,

Dear Amigo,

The White Lily Review is delighted to publish your poems. Your work exhibits a keen insight into revelations of the human spirit. The universal essence of your poetry captures man at his worst, best, and the simple struggle of day to day life. Congratulations Amigo, on a job well done.

But I’ll settle for an answer from the boy in the back,

a tight jeans, teenage, pierced Andy Garcia,

point to him because I don’t know who he is

and ask—

“What’s your name again?”

back to WORK

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