Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

on my (father’s) queerness


I’m handing out handouts to my students, I see
Charlie’s nails painted pink, my god
there it is, my hand
out in the photo albums of my family, I call
Marc Anthony my future husband, Tío Edwin
calls my mother, is this just another
chapter of her marriage, I am
only the recording of their misvows, I must not
spill into another misery, dig my fingertips
into this boy’s mouth, I want
to know why his throat
leads to my father’s, my nails god
what a landscape of transitions
all about him, the coarse blades
of grass cutting my memory of a spring
time divorce, Papi says never
tell your mother until you know
you would carve colors from this body,
until you know you would leave
your son within its husk for warmth.

Noel Quiñones is an AfroBoricua writer, performer, and educator born and raised in the Bronx. He has received fellowships from Poets House, CantoMundo, the Watering Hole, and Brooklyn Poets. His poetry will be included in the forthcoming collection of Afro-Latino Poets published by Arte Publico Press and he has been published in Pilgrimage Press, Kweli Journal, Winter Tangerine Review, Asymptote, & elsewhere. He was most recently a member of the 2016 Bowery Poetry Club slam team, placing amongst the top twenty teams in the nation. Visit him at or @NQNino322.