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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 17: 29 Jan. 2023
Poem: 120 words
By Judith Terzi


—After Automat (Edward Hopper, 1927)
“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. 




Automat (oil on canvas, 1927) by American realist painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) is held by the Des Moines Art Center (USA), and may be viewed at Wikipedia (link retrieved on 8 January 2023):

Judith Terzi
Issue 17 (29 January 2023)

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/

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