The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark.

Intimidating the mailman, probably. The splintering
of my eardrums will be rewarded,
though, if my paper salvation slips
through the mail slot today.

My cell phone trills in tandem
with the familiar thump of the post.
I cast the phone aside
and salvage the mail from the floor,
selecting the more pressing message.

I greedily unhinge the anticipated envelope,
giving little attention to the clinical
font of my address, the skewed home
the stamp makes, positioned haphazardly on the paper.

Clutching the crumpled innards of the envelope,
I whisper its content aloud, testing the
weight of each syllable as it falls
from my lips. "We regret
to inform you that we are unable to offer
you admission…"

Dazed, I stare vacantly at the page
willing each letter to reorganize, morph
before flinging it into the wastebasket, freeing
my hands to regard the relentless ring of the telephone.