Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.


He speaks Spanish in the car seat

behind me; this five year-old child—

my new son— surprises me with



when asked the day of the week.

I failed Spanish in tenth grade,

spent the summer months in school,



Grandma read to me in Spanish,

this boy born with blond hair—

white skin— tales about foxes

and grapes, pebbles and water,



Mom never taught us Spanish,

feared we’d fail American schools.

My wife is in love with this language.

I’m Sinatra crooning a Bodega list:

Leche, pan, queso…


Flashback to childhood— flashcards

with Spanish translations below English

words and pictures. My cousins thought

I was ashamed of my Latin culture,



but most of them never spent

one day sculpting their own toys,

flicking bottle caps packed with melted wax

on concrete playgrounds— poor kids!

los niños!


“Home,” Chase tells me, pops

his seatbelt as we pull along the curb.

“Son,” I spin, face him. “Teach me more.”

I’m so damn desperate for his every word,



Angel Zapata calls Augusta, Georgia his home. Born and raised in New York City, his fiction and poetry is a conglomeration of street smarts and Southern charm. His words are printed in Fine Linen Magazine, Gyroscope Review, and at The Midnight Lane Boutique. He invites you to visit his Goodreads author page.

Categories: Poetry

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1 reply

  1. This is a moment–and a poem–worth holding onto.

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