January Dispatch

By Emily Sernaker

I misread a signal and accidentally hugged my mailman.
He was just tapping me on the arm and I somehow went all in.

In other news, my former barista is meeting me for coffee
and bringing Arthur her rescue dog. I met another fantastic

dog this morning who had never seen snow before
he was zig-zag walking losing his mind with joy

trying to lick it all up. I have to wear a brace on my right
hand for a while, it’s some kind of strain. Two days ago

Tom and I broke up. We were both hard crying. It was just
one of those top five hard things in life. I keep thinking

about the time Tatianni spotted a rose-beaked cardinal
in my backyard. She knew to look for the second one,

was sure it would be there. It’s like how I feel
finding Philip Levine and Larry Levis always spine

by spine in the bookshop. Some things you can count
on. Anyway, the snow has left impossibly soft lines

on everything. Bicycle tires, lids of mailboxes.
What’s the opposite of underlying? It’s like that.

Powdery bright marks saying take note.
This will probably be important later.

Emily Sernaker is a writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in Ms.
Magazine, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle
, and McSweeney’s.

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