Christopher Soto


Christopher Soto (1991-present) is an El Salvadoran poet from Los Angeles, California. He was educated at New York University and is the author of Sad Girl Poems and a founding editor of Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. Soto’s poems address themes of intimacy, trauma, and identity. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and serves as an intern for the Poetry Society of America. Source

All the Dead Boys Look Like Me

Last time I saw myself die is when police killed Jessie Hernandez


A 17 year old brown queer // who was sleeping in their car


Yesterday I saw myself die again // Fifty times I died in Orlando // &


I remember reading // Dr. José Esteban Muñoz before he passed


I was studying at NYU // where he was teaching // where he wrote [   ]


That made me feel like a queer brown survival was possible // But he didn’t


Survive & now // on the dancefloor // in the restroom // on the news // in my chest


There are another fifty bodies that look like mine // & are


Dead // & I’ve been marching for Black Lives & talking about police brutality


Against Native communities too // for years now // but this morning


I feel it // I really feel it again // How can we imagine ourselves // We being black native


Today // Brown people // How can we imagine ourselves


When All the Dead Boys Look Like Us? // Once I asked my nephew where he wanted


To go to College // What career he would like // as if


The whole world was his for the choosing // Once he answered me without fearing


Tombstones or cages or the hands from a father // The hands of my lover


Yesterday praised my whole body // Made angels from my lips // Ave Maria


Full of Grace // He propped me up like the roof of a cathedral // in NYC


Before we opened the news & read // & read about people who think two brown queers


Can’t build cathedrals // only cemeteries // & each time we kiss


A funeral plot opens // In the bedroom I accept his kiss // & I lose my reflection


I’m tired of writing this poem // but I want to say one last word about


Yesterday // my father called // I heard him cry for only the second time in my life


He sounded like he loved me // it’s something I’m rarely able to hear


& I hope // if anything // his sound is what my body remembers first.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Intersectionality & Culture

LGBTQ+ Experience

Police Brutality

Racial Injustice

Violence & War

Literary Devices:


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


a situation that seems to contradict itself


the repetition of conjunctions frequently and in close proximity in a sentence


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”