2 Poems by Monique Quintana
the claw game
That winter we spent living at Circus Circus Casino, the women told us how they made dinners in our family trailer in the parking lot, the pink vertical striping their face like fish lapping at daybreak. What makes the ache of drum and Canela? We were so far away and so close to California. Knowing doppelgänger wrangle from our shoe tops, that's all we needed to know how much I x you. Cold carpet, we wrapped you inside it, coated with honeycomb and oil from the buffet table. We carried you over the rain guts of slot machines even though you were still breathing, out of respect, corduroy face, soft paw tight and burning.
we cross me
My mother promised me bright blue slippers, and she broke her promise cold like a window. But if I had those bright blue slippers, I wouldn't know the difference between snow and sand when they arrived at my door. But what if I had those bright blue slippers? Or the palm tree folded up and packed inside the bubble envelope I sewed into a silver suit. We sled all day, turning an old tire into a saucer, and then our boat routing fish into caves because they asked about my mother again.
Monique Quintana is a Xicana from Fresno, CA, and the author of the novella Cenote City (Clash Books 2019). Her reviews, interviews, and essays appear at Luna Luna Magazine, where she is an editor. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Microfiction, and the Pushcart Prize. She has also received support from Yaddo, The Community of Writers, and The Sundress Academy for the Arts. You can find her at moniquequintana.com and on Twitter @ quintanagothic