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Adam Varoqua

Adam Varoqua - @avaroqu


Adam is a 1st Generation Gay and Queer Syrian-Circassian American who loves to write and perform poetry.  


"I wrote this poem after I moved to San Francisco. I've lived in America all my life and traveled to different corners of the country, and no city has been as unique and striking as San Francisco. Arguably, it is the Queerest city in all of America. This is a place where the normal is strange and weird. Where no one bats an eye when you walk by as your beautiful Queer self. I've fallen in love with this city, through all of its beauty and faults. 

So I wrote this poem taking on the role of a 'majnun' or madman. Sufi poetry is full of works dedicated to how one goes crazy in love with the Divine and I drew inspiration from that, especially growing up as Muslim. 

This poem also serves as a rebuke. Oftentimes in American mainstream media, SF is given a lot of undue criticism that is frankly steeped in classism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia. I wrote this poem in worship of SF's beauty and to highlight its iconic status for so many here."

A Queer Orgasmic & Ecstatic Love Poem from an American Majnun!

May Allah bless the city of St. Francis!

Who needs leg day when your hills are so steep, one’s calves and glutes become as thick as a retrofitted Californian highway pillar!

Your bookstores are queer and communist owned and they stay open till 9 at night.

Your streets are bright with rainbow lights,

Rainbow lights on the escalators in the Castro station!

Tell me, where else in this nation can you see many old gays holding hands in the street?

No need to be discrete you see,

no need to retreat.

San Francisco, how can I go?

You are Mexican and Japanese,

Black and Indigenous,

Chinese and Queer,

Filipino and Vietnamese,

Brown and trans.

You are nothing but color—

upon color,

upon color.

Crimson Steel

and California poppy,

I hear Tagalog riding the MUNI,

I see kanji all around,

here, my gender knows no bounds!

The euphoria on my shaven face as I walk your hilly streets.

Biking down, and I mean down!

And hiking up, and I mean up!

Spanish on the Golden Gate,

everywhere you skate,

rollerblading and roller skating,

and all you see,

all you feel,

is color.

For you strangers to this land here is a little peak,

houses here are nothing but unique!

Victorians and venetians,

In shades of,

barbie pink and marigold yellow,

violet and lavender,

cotton candy blue and mint green,

alabaster white,

Queer life!

There is Queer magick and madness found within these streets!

How else to best express how liberated we feel.

We came here so our wounds may heal.

How many Queer sober spaces are in your town?

Where else does there exist a trans district?

The Queer joy that comes with kisses on public sidewalks–

black eyeliner,

bright neon hair,

giggles of yellow.

Same-sex smiles of sunburst!

When you walk, hear how many lisps you come by as we talk.

From blowjobs on twinks and bears on their knees in the clubs like in holy communion,

to trans icons being their fabulous selves!

This city is where the binary gets broken!


and it is celebrated.

The normal here is “weird”.

“We are Queer” takes on a different meaning.

Seething, conservatives rage towards us.

Fox News says your streets smell of shit but they actually smell of flowers—

of Poppies of orange,

of Daisies of white,

of Roses of pink, Damascus!

Of Dahlias, midnight black.

Flowers, and pollen, and sweet nectar all year.

I hear that Tony Bennett left his heart here,

unlike Bennett though, my heart was left in Union City, Jersey,

So I decided to grow another one here.

Ya habibti,

Ya madinah!

You are home to new creation and destruction!

Old endings,

and new beginnings.

A blazing phoenix you are!

Far in the past, your ground shook,

your buildings fell.

Out of smoke, ash, and sea,

came your silver fog,

and palm trees.

Came kiwi parrots and starry eyed youth,

came the queens and their fags,

came migrants and monarch butterflies,

came trolleys and the downtrodden,

came the crashing Pacific on peacock colored cliffs.

You were demised,

but you have arisen.

As for your people -

They are wayfarers.

Everyone here is searching, yearning, with something broken inside,

and I mean no offense,

I mean -

everyone came from somewhere that they wanted to be a home but wasn’t.

In your bountiful bay, we came searching for the hope, home, & community

that rightfully belongs to us,

and we built one here.

I hear longing in people’s voices,

I see hope in their eyes.

The smiles that light up the room when one of us enters!

Here is found family,

here is Queer community–

and it gushes with color.

San Francisco, I have drunk your tie-dye ambrosia and become quite mad.

Make me one with you and let me become whole!

I will kiss you in your Tenderloin and love you all the way to your Sunset.

You’ve made me the bridge between the East and West,

an American Dhul-Qarnayn.

I wish to climb your mosaic staircases,

blow bubbles while I skate in your park.

Fight for housing for all!

Here, I am not so small.

So may Allah bless the city of St. Francis!

May Allah bless the bear flag state!

May Allah bless our demise and may Allah bless our rise!

May Allah bless Sodom and Gomorrah rebirthed!

May Allah bless your yesterday—

your today,

and your tomorrow.


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