Octavio Quintanilla


How hard can it be
to enter my bed as my mother
I am a new born, feed me
I am the abandoned lamb
The weak hatchling
The branch broken in two
to beat a spoiled child

I am all memory

Be a mother and coo me
to sleep
Baby-talk into my heart’s ear
Run your hand over my head
Tonight, you are not my lover
Tonight, I am not your husband
Tonight, I am your missing son
You, the milk
at the corner of my mouth

—previously published in Poetrybay

0-2OCTAVIO QUINTANILLA is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing (Slough Press, 2014) and the 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. His poetry, fiction, translations, and photography have appeared, or are forthcoming, in journals such as Salamander, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, Alaska Quarterly Review, Pilgrimage, Green Mountains Review, Southwestern American Literature, The Texas Observer, Existere: A Journal of Art & Literature, and elsewhere. Visual poems have been exhibited in several galleries, including Presa House Gallery, Equinox Gallery, and at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, TX. He holds a PhD from the University of North Texas and is the regional editor for Texas Books in Review and poetry editor for The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism & for Voices de la Luna: A Quarterly Literature & Arts Magazine. Octavio teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the M.A./M.F.A. program at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. writeroctavioquintanilla

Other works
A Man and His Dogs

Link to Table of Contents.