At a Nyack Pastier

coffee shop stories


Didiere and Dumas, Nyack, New York : The black frosting of the dark chocolate mousse pastry catches the light through the display case.

“Do you want the mousse or the raspberry tart?”

I look at her alternative. Dark chocolate, as well, but the raspberries decide it for me.

worn berries
embedded in frosting
sudden wind

I’m about to eat my first bite of mousse when she shows me her cappuccino.

“It’s not supposed to be like this! I’ve had plenty. Look, the coffee is too low. It’s all frosting.”

I still hear her as I take her cup to the barista. College-age at most, the young woman wipes a stray bang of brown hair out of her eyes as she explains what a cappuccino is, and she offers me a latte.

“I’ve had others that had more…” I hear behind me.

steaming milk
an explosion of cocoa
from the first bite


photograph by Jasmin Quaynor

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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