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Speaking the English

This afternoon I went to the post office to mail The Columbia Poetry Review, a Moleskine notebook (I love mine), and a book about selling poems to my friend in Iraq. I’d packaged them in an box I had lying around my apartment. I’d crossed off the company’s name on the sides of the box, but by the time I got to the post office the ink had dried and was visible.

When the woman behind the counter saw it, she told me that I needed to be more thorough next time. The words on the package could confuse a foreigner working in the Army mail room because “they don’t speak the English that good.”

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