Poem by Kate Polak
August 15, 2023
I am in love with champagne naps in the late afternoon after two hours of therapy that makes me feel like something has been done, but isn’t, can’t really be done yet. The festivals constrained from workdays, to weekends: it violates the ancient codes in which the thing is done at the right time, not the one that is convenient. This turn of the earth is on a Monday, day most-maligned, day for which we would give many other days not to have. And yet, how likely she is, as days go, the sweet, cool breeze beneath a grey sky soothed to blue dapples by the time I am driving home. I had to work today, so jokes go, but the work was not hard, was in fact thoughtful and joyful, a coming together, as every festival making past time a pastime, wherein we remake the present as what doesn’t so much move irretrievably to a foreordained end, but rather something we recover, time and again. So many things go. Another season gone, another love, another astonishing person who we never knew well enough. I don’t think I can believe any more in any eschatology. Why would anything be an end when it would be so much more? They come back. What is heaven but waking? That madness of finding your way each day, the maze of it, the bewilderment of another rousing, another new day, another carnival that recalls the rhythms we’ve lived in since before we were human. In all bewildering’s dimensions: to be something wild (perhaps more), to be made something wild(er), to risk some staggering hope when we all know the year will turn, painfully, towards dark again. Enjoying the brightening is not a betrayal of dusk. You can adore devotion and lust in the same hot breath on the neck, you can make it mean anything. You can love the gone as what made the ill-crossed strings of this fate sweet as honey from the rock. We aren’t the seemings we’ve been. Every mask and crown is a chance at what we’ve wanted with the whole singing howl of the must-do we’ve lived. What do you want to be unless you grow up?
About Kate Polak
Kate Polak is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her work has recently appeared in Plainsongs, McSweeney’s, So to Speak, Coffin Bell, Inverted Syntax, and elsewhere. She lives in south Florida with her familiars, aspiring to a swamp hermitage.