Out of the Hat by Meg Pokrass and Jeff Friedman
I pulled my ex-husband out of one of my hats, and at first, he seemed happy to see me again. “I’ve really missed your hats, and all of your weird scarves,” he said to me, beaming. I contemplated stuffing him back into the hat, but then I remembered our days in Kansas City, how we used to split a package of hostess cupcakes in the movie theater, and he’d always lick the vanilla cream out with his tongue before eating the cake part. I threw my arms around him, squishing him around the middle. He seemed to be filled with something I’d been living without for too long. He smelled like chocolate cake, and he had become portly. I licked his soft sweet cheeks and tasted his caramelly kisses. “I still have a sweet tooth,” I admitted, shaking off my magic hat, unwinding my poppy-red scarf as the room heated up. Sunlight poked in through the blinds, my eyes watered, and it was becoming hard to see who was really there with me. Despite his efforts to stop me, I licked and kissed some more, and pretty soon, he was an amorphous bundle of crumbs. “Do you still love me,” he said, so quietly that it was impossible to tell who was talking. “What a strange question,” I replied. And with the dry pads of my fingers, I pinched little bits of him back inside my hat.
Meg Pokrass is the author of six flash fiction collections, an award-winning collection of prose poetry, two novellas-in-flash and a forthcoming collection of microfiction, Spinning to Mars, recipient of the Blue Light Book Award in 2020.
Jeff Friedman’s eighth book, The Marksman, was published in November 2020 by Carnegie Mellon University Press. He has received numerous awards and prizes for his poetry, mini tales, and translations. Two of his micro stories were recently selected for the The Best Microfiction 2021.