“The Takoyaki Vending Machines and I” by antmen pimentel mendoza

Reading by the author

I think of Agnes’ Glaneurs when my pinky toenail blushes
up on six foot radials queued outside the Gilman Whole Foods;
which is to say nothing can feel this essential all of the time. Bare

vines sprouting arterial from the umbilical phantom, motherlink,
or chili cheese dog of an I-580 embankment stares Joel
in his underbelly eye, recites his usual brunch order. I void

and watch wordless GoPro videos on YouTube of first
person taste testing Japanese and Singaporean
vending machine-made meals like udon and burgers.

(A soundtrack: coins in the palm, cellophane vessel pregnant
with steam, cardboard pull tab orchestra.) I void and massage
my century egg eyes scrambled white easy or mooncake

doughy. When I take my therapy appointment
on Zoom, I don’t ride the 6; which is to say I do not have to think
of Telegraph’s gleaners, adjacent Walgreens and Taste

of Denmark. Voided now, I dream the coquette oaks and pines
my friend shoots on his midday hike and tide away the cyberpunk cafe
where no hands but mine once counted days or howled wolves in the night.

antmen pimentel mendoza (he, him, his & she, her, hers) is a scorpio, bakla, and writer. antmen is based in Huichin Ohlone Land (the East San Francisco Bay Area) where he talks about pop music nearly all day and plays with friends. She works and dreams alongside students at a university cultural community center. antmen’s poetry is published or forthcoming in Cosmonauts Avenue, Underblong, and Lantern Review.

Author photo: Mel Octaviano

Image: “Donut Give Up, Kingston, NY” by Daniel Nester

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