The woman beside me on the plane
is slowly eating a large bag
of fun-sized Snickers,
savoring each bite,
holding the bars neatly
in a Kleenex
before reaching for another.
On campus, pairs of black
panties keep appearing
in the same spot:
between a concrete staircase
and a pressure valve,
this exposed, ugly path
The fussy notations on cards
explaining the seals in the glass museum case:
“fox about to devour severed boar’s head”
“satyr reclining on wineskin”
“woman and rampant quadruped”
Each small, precise cut in jasper or agate
raising a dead imagination back to life in my own.
I’m prepared for wonder:
Walking down the hallway
feels erotic, so much unanticipated:
this neutered space
suddenly charged with something
if I only turn the corner at the right time.
If only you pass my cracked door.
Kate Polak is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her work has recently appeared in Plainsongs, McSweeney’s, So to Speak, Barzakh, The Closed Eye Open and elsewhere. She lives in south Florida and aspires to a swamp hermitage.