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.