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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Prose Tanka: 164 words [R]
By Peter Fiore

She Asks About His Hat


in Starbucks, outsized eyes in an oval face, black-silver hair curls to her shoulders—she asks about his hat.

so he returns every weekend late in the morning. drinks his coffee, reads and revises his reports. and looks up every time the door opens.

then on Valentine’s Day, in a snow storm, he’s the only one there, when she walks in, hair drenched and dripping. sits in the chair opposite him and they talk for an hour. she lives with aged parents. he touches her face and she smiles.

they go for soba noodles and a bottle of Chablis. she tells him she hasn’t made love for more than three years. he takes her to Heidi’s Inn. give me your tongue he says, and they shag till they’re both knackered—then she calls home.

it’s still snowing lightly as they drive back holding hands. she doesn’t offer any contact information except her name, Angela, and says, we’ll meet again.

—Published previously in slightly different form in Atlas Poetica (Issue 21, May 2015); appears here with author’s permission.

Peter Fiore
Issue 1, January 2020

lives and writes in Mahopac, New York. He is the author of three books: text messages, the first volume of American Gogyōhka poetry (Mushroom Press); flowers to the torch, tanka prose (Keibooks, 2015); and when angels speak of love, a novella (Loose Moose Press, 2017). His prose and poems have been published in American Poetry Review, Atlas Poetica, Bright Stars, great weather for MEDIA, KYSO Flash, Poetry Now, Rattle, Sandy River Review, Skylark, Still Crazy, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Skylark, and elsewhere.

Fiore is also a jazz pianist, having played in several venues in the greater New York City area including The Black Whale and LeRefuge in City Island and Pete’s Saloon in Elmsford, New York.

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