By Tina Tocco

Featured Art: Still Life by Earl Horter

We’re in Omaha when I know. You’re out bootlegging—running, you call it—for that man from Tinker’s, a deacon at First Baptist, he says, though his name is Kinsky. I curl on a cardboard cot imagining my quilt from Pomeroy’s when the big Chicago woman, hair steam-strung from the laundry pots, stands downwind. “Only two reasons to stay with a man, but only one to stay with a man like that.” She has brought the necessaries. They clink in a feed sack the pattern of girls’ dresses. There is not much for me to do, but I do it quietly. It’s one jug of Tinker’s mash for quietly. The Boston girl, she warns, paid three.

Tina Tocco is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Her flash has appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2019, Best Nonfiction Food, River Styx, Crab Creek Review, Roanoke Review, Potomac Review, Portland Review, and Italian Americana, among others. She was a finalist in CALYX’s Flash Fiction Contest and an honorable mention in the River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest. Tina earned her MFA from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell.

Originally published in Issue 19.

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