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Sickness and In Health

by Marek Kulig

For the Polish, it’s common

practice to say na zdrowie

while raising a drink (think cheers)

or following a sneeze (god bless you).

Too much of either, however,

suggests quite the opposite,

no matter how many times

the refrain insists on improving conditions.

Certainly the next day’s pleasure

from the previous’s liberal cheersing

feels relatively proportionate

to about the length of a sneeze,

especially if consumed at its speed

and in a spell of fits. The sneeze disorients

momentarily, comes with a tickle-warning.

A drink is its own cautionary tale,

betrothed to the unbulbous nose,

blessed ruddy, shooter of snot,

from which our heads we unbow

like glasses coming up, and touching, a vow.

Originally from Poland, Marek Kulig grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Massachusetts, where he once taught high school English and coached basketball. He currently writes for a local food magazine and tends bar. Marek has an MA in English Literature and has contributed to a handful of writers’ workshops, residencies and programs. A part of the Network of Eastern European Writers, he is writing poetry, fiction.


April 2019

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