Asking for a Friend

By Emily Sernaker

Featured Art: Shop Girls by Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones

What if you haven’t enjoyed dating
for a while? You’re tired of sharing pieces
of your life story with men
in crowded restaurants
all over the city who you know
within five minutes you won’t want
to see again? What if you get too excited
when you find a guy you like
at a holiday party? Becoming very
forward while wearing a Snoopy Christmas sweater,
because you believe it’s your power-outfit
and you only have a three-week window to rock it?

What if you’re having fun on a date swapping
embarrassing stories and then somehow
you’re outside the bar and he’s shaking
your hand saying it was nice to meet you,
and you realize that you’re actually in
an embarrassing story? It’s happening to you
right now. What if everyone keeps acting like
this is simple? You’ll only find love when
you’re not looking! To find love, you have to
put yourself out there!
And you don’t want
to be dramatic about it, but some days
your heart feels like an ambulance
stuck in traffic. What if you keep
trying everything and nothing?
And when you look up at the sky
and spot a perfect hole-punched moon
you want to tell someone
that, if they hurry, they can see it
completely, all that brightness at once.


Emily Sernaker is a writer and human rights professional. Her work has ap- peared in Ms. Magazine Online, The Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s, The Sun, Rattle, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, GOOD Media, The Rumpus, Faultline Journal, Brooklyn Poets and Politics, and Prose District Lines. She is a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar and a Pushcart Prize nominee.

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