She's walking to get her morning coffee. The sky above the sidewalk is the low bright color of snow. She wears a red jacket, not a winter coat, and walks fast with her shoulders folded in. She wears heels. She must not have listened to the news this morning.
The old men at the coffee shop are talking weather with grimaces of smug vindication. Through the building's open door, the first giddy flakes skate in, little inverted periods escaped from some sentence about leaves and wood smoke. The customers raise their creaky bones to crowd around the glass and watch for something dramatic enough to be picked up through bifocals. The sky is one long inhale.
Snow doesn't fall for secretaries and accountants. It falls for kids to play in, to pile a memorial to all the winters the old folks survived and remember. For a fifth grade teacher who's been hiding in the grownups' bathroom all day licking at her broken heart, who will sit in her kitchen in the white glow with her coat still on. For the guy from Venezuela who's paid under the table, who's started seeing rebar and concrete in his dreams and could use a little magic. For the golden college kids who should have ended up studying and drinking, but will instead make snow angels and steal kisses. For the policeman whose favorite job is guarding the closed off city street so the sleds can come through.
She gets the latte, squeezes through the old men who don't notice her. She holds the cup with both hands. She didn't wear gloves, either. She worries what the dry cold will do to her hair. She holds the cup with both hands to keep them warm until she gets into the elevator.