Saudade | The New Engagement


By Adam Que
Saudade art

"Remember the backyard with the grass as tall as kindergartens," Maria says 
to her brother Jason 
who is now shifting 
his weight in an easygoing manner 
his foot tapping like 
he is listening to a catchy 
commercial jingle that 
can be played on a box 
with pedals and 
black and white keys 
Maria says, "Remember that damn shed, it was such an environmental hazard." 
Jason just kind of ignores her 
and feels the nub of his 
amputated left arm 
"Remember the basement where that dude used to stay," Maria says
"Yeah, I actually do. We called him Ogden because he said he was renting a room on Ogden St," Jason finally answers 
"And why did mom let him stay in the basement?"
"I don't know Jay, you know how she was." 

They both just gaze

Mister Softee 
Hungry-Man or steak-umm dinners 
the pedophile who used 
to lurk behind the 
3rd grade trailer 
the bed bug bites 
the dead cold radiator 
happening at least once 
every winter 
the dope spots marked
with hanging sneakers


Little Vickie who had 
three kids with Charlie who 
had a football scholarship 
to Florida but gave it up 
for grand larceny 
Billy who was shot because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time
the quarter waters 
the cherry bombs and faulty fireworks every fourth of July 
the hangout which was 
an abandoned skate park under 
the under pass 
the older men at Bodegas
who played fathers or mentors 
the single moms who stayed 
strong together because 
they had no other choice 
especially in a neighborhood  
where ambulances 
did not put their sirens on
just to run red lights 


How Jason almost lost his whole left arm
how Jason's Skittles and Snackwell's selling was the proof he could run his own start up eventually which he is now
how Maria was made fun of because of her forward thinking fashion  
how Maria was the first of her 
family to go to college 
to get a bachelor's 
to get a master's
how as a family they were a family 
not statistics 
nor percentages 
but a remembering
a longing

Adam Que is an independent writer/poet/author from Jersey City, New Jersey. While competing as an amateur mixed martial artist, working to become a professional fighter, he found out that fighting was truly not his path. After he stopped competing he started to do something he has always wanted to do, which was share his writing. His work has also appeared in Slink Chunk Press.

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Contests & Prizes

Flash Fiction Contest
On May 1st, we announced the winners of our Flash Fiction Contest: Thomas Garcia (1st), Rick Krizman (2nd), and Rios de la Luz (3rd). Read more.

The James Baldwin Literature Prize
It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of The James Baldwin Literature Prize of $1,000 to Hafsa Musa. Read more.

The New Engagement

The New Engagement endeavors a novel approach to discovering, introducing, and showcasing writers, artists, and filmmakers, by providing them digital and print platforms, while encouraging and supporting their social-consciousness.