Editor’s notes: Each year, Santa Cruz County high school students are invited to submit poems and local authors act as judges to select three for cash prizes, several for honorable mention and about 50 for publication in an anthology. Poetry Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education will present The 18th Annual Santa Cruz County High School Poetry Competition Reading, Awards Ceremony and Celebration of the Publication of the Annual Anthology at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17 at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, 400 Encinal St., Santa Cruz.
Dreaming through a screen,
Kiki with the yellow hat and black eyes.
Tú eres la manzana del ojo.
As he drums his fingers, they turn to ash.
Kiki with his blue eyes, red lips.
Mi hijo, mi muchachito bonito
Ven aquí, por favor
He just wants to look at you.
Don’t be shy, Kiki-boy.
Te miro, like a dusty film at a hot,
scratching midnight movie house.
Sweat like salt, like bloodied lips.
Kiki with the violet eyes, Kiki by the screen
con las luces en sus dientes.
Skinny boy, crazy boy.
Spiraling boy down the thin metal stairs,
thin like his wrists.
Como Dios, pero más joven.
Dios debe ser joven, y bonito.
Dark-haired, black eyes.
White print with no color.
Kiki, you’re a name in a newspaper
no picture, no fotografía
pero te recordaré.
Cuando Kiki está muerto,
all that shiny black hair of yours
is going outside en la calle.
Oye, Kiki. Adieu.
San Lorenzo Valley High School | First Prize
The First Time
He walks up to the doorstep,
spots a coin on the ground
and picks it up.
He is scared, shaky.
Sweat drips down his face.
A bush by the steps shakes
and a bird flies out.
He wants to leave.
As he starts to,
he sees a face at the window.
Then the door opens
and he meets his father
for the first time.
Star Community School
The Beginning Of The End
The beginning of the end already started.
I got no family ‘cause they all departed.
The time I spend when I’m out on the streets
is precious to me—just like my heartbeat.
My older brother’s doing time up on the “P.”
Torsido for a minute. Life of a “G.”
My dad’s on parole. I heard he got deported.
He needed a lawyer. He couldn’t afford it.
Homeless for two years. Sleeping in the cold.
They say this life ain’t right for a 17-year-old.
But what can I say? I chose this life.
I’m married to my barrio. My ‘hood is my wife.