Issue 1


by AN

A collage of hands and nature scenes with text. On the bottom half of the page, many upraised brown hands from the wrist up are caressing one another and holding up an image of a round world. On the top half of the page, the aforementioned world features two meandering rivers, one right-side-up and the other upturned, in fields of greenery rimmed by columnar trees, meeting at the horizon line. On this world, two more hands are visible. The handwritten text reads: “We have been conversation partners for a long, long, appreciated time. / I’m glad / to see you again soon.”

The second image is the same collage overlaid with a stamped postcard dated in February of 2022. The postcard has words cut out of it, and other printed matter lain atop it redacts identifying information: a piece of lavender card-stock blocks out the sender’s name, a slip of cloud from a magazine page covers the receiver’s name, and a square card of blue and green shapes hides the receiver’s address. The postcard, in dark blue pen on a white background, reads: “Dear ____, (I’m glad) you are in New York now, where you’ve been trying to be for what seems like, and is, years. I hope as it warms up, you too have warmth and comfort and rest, as in the front of this card! And I hope (to see you again soon. We have been conversation partners for a long, long, appreciated time.)”

A and N first met in Saint Petersburg during a snowy winter, and have been exchanging mail since the mid-2010s. A. is currently trying to buy a used car and is struggling with that. N has no car and is not trying to buy a car, new or used. They are friends.