Kate Polak

for Gemini


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

rendered spicy-sweet.


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.