These Are the End Times and the Next Four Years Might As Well Be the Afterlife

by Asdrubal Quintero

What are these cosmic reams?
I feel like my biggest fault
is being such a perfectionist.
I’m ugly & confused in that sense.
I felt a rise in you
and knew I won for once.
Someone pays for our meal at Denny’s
and at the same time,
someone’s hankering to call me a fag.
Everything goes in pairs.
Except for me.
I want to ride down the streetcars again,
I want water to slip through my fingers
so that I feel like I contribute
somehow to this damned ecosystem.
I wanted to take a plane somewhere.
What have I been drinking?
Did I look at the night sky recently?
I was an amateur astronomer at one point.
I had my telescope
& could point out the north star.
I counted up from 1.
I felt confused in a time in which I felt
Again, the Leo is a confused state
of needing attention
& affirmation.
What does that even look like anymore?
Jupiter is set a bit more to the left.
This means love in the upcoming year.
The upcoming year.
The upcoming year.
Our fixation on time passing
& the future
is actually a fixation on
things getting better.
We’re inherently optimists.
Or we’re just not complacent people.
Why was I ever asked to make anything?
Why can’t I die in my bed?
The skies aren’t blue anymore.
Or they are in some other place
I don’t inhabit currently.
I want to be in love.
Or I want something similar to it.
But, I’ve forgotten what it means
to feel warm.
I burned my feet in the tub.
The tub is intergalactic.
Have you stopped to enjoy
some alt-R&B
and a bath bomb?
What is pleasure
to the desperate homo?
A club blowjob?
A hillside romance?
I found nights.
I’ve found stars.
The weeping willow has dried up.
The beach is somewhere nearby.
I’m not interested in connections,
I’m interested in validations.
That’s the saddest part of all.
But, then sometimes I’m happy.
I looked outside
& there were geese.
These geese are very territorial
& most likely, hail from Canada.
They don’t like people,
but sometimes, they like me.
This is still a form of validation.
In that sense,
I’m weak.
I wanted to make something better
of myself.
I wanted to make my parents proud
that they left Nicaragua.
I’m a bum scrounging for coins.
I’m a volunteer,
dressed in red,
working 11 hrs to make nothing.
But, I make impact.
How do you explain that?
How do you explain impact
to someone wanting to call you
a fag?
I think the best realisation
I’ll ever make
is that I never needed to explain myself.
You’re confused?
So am I.
I woke up today.
How hard was that?
Do you even give a fuck that you’re far away from me?
Why did D spend his Christmas
in NOLA?
I hope he isn’t alone.
And somewhere in Mississippi,
is someone contending with their sexuality?
I came to Jax to uncover some history.
I found shit.
Or nothing of relevance.
I’m excited by the fact that
tomorrow is Monday because that means
things will be open again.
And while I sit on bed wondering when
will I fall in love,
I get called sexy,
don’t believe it,
think back to the same people.
Think back on the size of the universe.
A simultaneously
comforting and abhorrent thought.
What could possibly make a perfectionist
feel better?
Is perfectionist the word I’m going to use
instead of anxious-depressive?
I don’t like these things,
I don’t like myself.
What an awful thing to say
& everyone will read this
& wonder what the fuck is wrong with me.
Welcome to my world.
In some small space,
in some small corner in space,
on the lone planet,
on this continent,
there are people.
I’m one of them.
I wanted to get lost.
I found myself.
& What a fucked up time it’s been since then.

Asdrubal Quintero is a Latinx poet from New Orleans currently living and teaching in NYC. Their current obsessions are SZA and Morgan Parker. They’ve been previously published in Crab Fat Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hinchas de Poesía and Birds Piled Loosely. Follow them on twitter @asdrubalaq