“Kind regards,” he wrote. The letter arrived
yesterday. “Kind regards”! We’d made plans:
Paris, marriage. This coat his gift from last year’s
great December sale at Wanamaker’s, near
the automat where we met. Horn & Hardart—
its sparkling floors, table tops of marble
he loved. He’d hand bills to the nickel thrower,
rubber tips on every single one of her fingers.
He’d put nickels into the food window slots.
Oh, he knew my favorites: meat loaf or Salisbury
steak, creamed beets, lemon custard pie. Two years
of bliss now gone with “kind regards.” How we’d
linger over H&H drip-brewed coffee that flows
from the mouth of a dolphin. Like a fountain in Rome.
is the author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay Books), as well as six chapbooks, including Now, Somehow (2022), a collection of poems about confronting cancer, a pandemic, and other health crises. Her poem “Ode to Malala Yousafzai” was featured on BBC Radio 3. She taught French for many years in Pasadena, California as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.
Author’s website: https://www.sharingtabouli.com/