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Adrian T. Quintanar

A mezcal bottle, pronged on the face by lamp shine. Agave mash jitters atop the coffee table.
Punching from Kenwoods, is an Isley Brothers’ drum pattern. It ripples the living room. Musk
blooms from steel wool chest hair. Smears of menthol reek. Their lips unlatch, moisten a shot
glass. On laminated sofa, Newport smoke flexing toward the stucco ceiling. Armed with half-

thoughts. They prattle. Something about a gold beveled canvas. Rose’s syntax pummels uvula.
Tongue. Throat muscle. A slurred tale of the painted man. Hair slicked. Molten black. Squared
mandible flanked by sunk cheeks. Swabs of spit anchor their furrowed mouth. Brown as mud-

brick. A familiar face reflecting in the Luger’s pistol-thin glow. The muffled taste of dark.
Quebracho ash. Dank Oaxacan dirt. As though spiced chocolate is at the rear of Rose’s throat. It
remind them how the older women would cup their grimace, rumpled hands squeezing.


Adrian T. Quintanar

At Mount Baldy’s brim,

the lace of salt white slush

puckers crumpled clouds:

     lint lined pocket nooks,

receipt paper pulp,

chomped in the wash cycle.

Crawling sunlight

pools in this valley,


       hammocks orb weaver silk.

A moth, half cocooned.

Twitches. The meat of foothills

gnawed by a downpour.

                 Snails phlegmed on Route 66,

marigold dirt musk

              moaned through hulls


Veduta II

Adrian T. Quintanar

Before the electric transmitters,
                                 gray tufted owls dressed as palm trees,

the mint cul de sacs
                                of sutured McMansions

auto shops and dollar store,
the roach sick burger joints
and auroras of neon signage.

Before the cemetery, the old stone,
                 teeth flashing from a scowling mouth,

                                 the high school football field
                 students, cars, curbside litter,

yellow-lined blacktop,
                red reflective octagons,
                               citrus groves and library,

                                      cafecitos, panaderías,
the Metro station, bohemian painters,

                        farmers market,

                 county fairplex and swap meet.
Before yellow-pine spindles, the wirescape
                                                   like weft faced weaves.

              Before goddess of fruit,

                                              each skin peeled.

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