leftovers

“The Leftovers”, “Tuesday” and “Simulation”

In Poetry by Adam Que

The Leftovers

I was sick a lot as a boy.

At one point I lost thirty pounds from Reye’s syndrome.

“Call 9-1-1,” I would say—

As the pain burned down my neck

As if a piping hot teakettle was teetering on top of the burner.

I had such bad fevers, hallucinations of axes

Swaying like in a gauntlet of booby traps

Would become haunting apparitions.

I got better, but the residue of a bar of soap

Greeted me in the bathroom on mornings.

It saw how being lonesome kept me buoyant,

How my thoughts eddied around a patched up propeller,

I was an idiom having a tug-of-war—

But nothing was pulling back.

Tuesday

A 1:00am expedition to the taco truck—

Hyphy being strung out from the distance.

Palm trees standing there like

Paintbrushes, ready to tint the sky.

Residents playing tourists

Because the taco truck feels like a paradise.

Waiting to order, Chaco shredding the pollo

That become strands of scarlet meteors,

Which fill corn tortillas,

Being gingerly bitten by a bonita

With bangs that reach her eyebrows,

And skin tone that soaks in

The terracotta pottery and Mayan soil.


Chaco has been here for 15 years now—

Same taco truck, same recipes.

He looks younger now than

When he was at his baby sister’s quinceanera.

That’s when things were much more complicated—

That’s when he always thought:

“How did I end up with canelo hair, queso blanco skin, and freckles?”

Especially, when his name is not Saul Alvarez—

His birth certificate reads William Arthur Jackson.


Because he is as white as chalk

People called him Chaco,

It kind of went together.

He was a bit different

But at the taco truck he felt he never was.

He just enjoys serving simple pleasures—

Somehow that always kept him grounded.

Simulation

The whiff of poached Hyacinths

On a fire escape garden,

Citrus-sour smells of an urban rainforest

After a flash monsoon;

The burning calves

Because of hikes through narrowing trails

Of swindling woods

That steals away the sun’s radiant gaze;

The creek,

Like a watery anaconda

Sweeping pebbles into each other

As they clunk like a game of marbles;

Children rolling down

Grassy hills like barrels over the Niagara;

A singular noise—

That is a marriage of

Chirps,

Buzzes,

Sways,

Wriggles,

Crackles,

And

Leaves exhaling relaxed “Ahs…”

Weeping Sap,

A shrubberies’ telescope,

Uneasy hammered rocks,

The chronically hampered air

Trying to release oxygen into every single cell—

A butterfly,

Fluttering around like a personal Tinkerbelle;

This does not come from

A downloaded app,

This does not come from smashing the X or A button,

This is beyond HD;

This is Pokémon Go

Without the cell phone—

This is a walk inside a fishbowl of nature,

A small sample we take for granted.

About the Author

Adam Que

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Adam Que is a writer from New Jersey. He has competed as an amateur mixed martial artist. After he stopped competing and working to be a professional fighter, Adam instead started to share his writing. His work has appeared in The New Engagement, The Machinery, Slink Chunk Press and is forthcoming in Straylight Literary Magazine and [Silhouette Press / Here Comes Everyone].