The Notion of Hopeful Sanity & Ambiguity by Asdrubal Quintero
Consider this the last time I talk about syntax.
Sentence structure, I thought, was derived
from the father, and how holy do we make the
father figure as if he were the one to rip apart
when we were birthed. The ultimate offense to me
was my voice just being drive-in menu-recordings to him,
I remember the weeping willow outside my house,
and sunglasses broken on the driveway,
you ask a husky middle school me what I thought
of life and my answer was angry.
I thought of telling you about hurricanes instead,
about the injustices Middle Eastern people faced
and how geometry was a flipped class
and the only thing that didn’t make sense
& I wasn’t concerned with. Syntax. My ELA teacher looked
like a banana in her yellow suit. My father
made a face of some sort. It’s unclear to me now.
The thing about an acre of land is that you
can stand at various parts of it and be unheard.
My house is big and behind it is a canal where
turtles somehow swam through the shit and weeds.
I remember the beach 30 miles away and
I’ve never seen a moon rise over water.
These were all core concepts of a person’s existence
and yet lacked any sort of linguistic sense.
Silence was my primary response to anger.
Faces obscured, what did my father even look like?
Does he still have a job?
My mom says he’s taking a cruise by the end of the year.
I don’t know what any of those words mean.
I spent a full year in reams, folded up, car crash,
I don’t know what. Hours piling up and little cash,
a sunrise phone call and then a sundown phone call,
both accompanied by what I could only call crying.
My face unrecognizable.
Watching Lake Ponchartrain and wondering about
joining the pods of whales underneath.
The last time I talk about syntax. I look outside
and there are sunflowers growing. My friend
cuts a few down and puts them in a glass for me.
“Good luck on your first day.”
The notion of hopeful sanity & ambiguity.
Asdrubal Quintero is a graduate with a BA in Theatre from Florida State University. He’s currently serving with AmeriCorps in New Orleans. Other published poems can be found in Crab Fat Magazine, Birds Piled Loosely, & Cosmonauts Avenue.