BY MONIQUE QUINTANA
Anna Suarez’s Papi Doesn’t Love Me No More (Clash Books, 2019) is a poetry collection that reads like the black honeycomb of a dreamscape. While it is often surreal, it is never too far from the pang of grief and overcoming the trauma of things and beloveds that hurt us. The speaker in these poems often finds danger in love, but finds refuge in love too.
An interesting move the collection makes is reexamining a woman’s glamor, so that it becomes a glamour, a spell that reveals the speaker to be the more skilled individual in couplings of love and discovery. The titular poem veers towards danger, but there is also the recognition that a woman can claim body autonomy, even in the midst of loss, “ You’re standing/ beside the bed-/ hard/ I reach you across mountains/ let the desire exonerate the pain.”
While the bruise of men is present in these poems, there are great alliances with women, “Sister says I touch/ and I destroy. ” The aspect of doubling is in this poetry, but women aren’t harmed by their doubles, rather, they feed of each other’s prowess. The twinning of the speaker’s self adds to the labyrinthine structure of the book, so though you encounter a new scene is each hole and crevice, there is still that familiar ache of letting go and the hope of regeneration.
Monique Quintana is a Xicana writer and the author of the novella, Cenote City (Clash Books, 2019). She is an Associate Editor at Luna Luna Magazine, Fiction Editor at Five 2 One Magazine, and a pop culture contributor at Clash Books. She has received fellowships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the Sundress Academy of the Arts, and has been nominated for Best of the Net. Her work has appeared in Queen Mob's Tea House, Winter Tangerine, Grimoire, Dream Pop, Bordersenses, and the Acentos Review, among other publications. You can find her at moniquequintana.com and on Twitter @quintanagothic.