Octavio Quintanilla


This morning
the man who died two years ago
was feeding his dogs.
He was patient and the smaller pup
came up and licked his hand.

I called out to him as you slept.
He came to my window, his dogs
followed him, wagging their tongues with joy,
rubbing their fur coats against his legs.

When you opened your eyes, I wanted
to tell you that getting lost is possibility.
Tell you, from now on if I say sadness
it means I am driving and I know
exactly where I am going.

I began to tell you, “Do you remember
the man who lived…” Then I stopped
when I saw you stretch your body with a yawn
as if announcing to the world
you had just been born.

—previously published in Naugatuck Literary Review

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
Love of My Life

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