Cloud 8

Karolina Zapal


you cry more at everyday occurrences like the wind and I cry more at disagreements. is this fact or opinion. we take a late-night walk through my neighborhood and I drop my rose-colored glasses. you put them right back on and tell me you never have disagreements. this strikes me as odd but I focus on being struck and not odd. your eyes don’t fall to my chest when I am not looking at you. this concept of a lone tree in philosophy or physics forgets about two people who are trees and hear each other fall. I feel a tree with your fingers curled into me but we are both the observer. with the attention of sexual bodies we line each country’s alphabet alphabetically and each other’s alphabet by country. what I mean is: there’s attention to detail but also grandeur. you fear crushing your own heart when you sleep so we arrange ourselves on right shoulders and think about moving my bed to the other side of the other wall but you’ll work on it. it’s a week later and I still find myself waking up in the middle of the night spooning you. you say nothing I can do will turn you off and later I poop in the woods and you help me bury it with a piece of cornucopia driftwood. it’s not animal groin so it’s okay. your foot presses against my bare ass bedding me and the bed catches me and my head folds over the side as I let out whirrs of a something’s-off-with-this-fan. my hands are tied behind my back with a red polka-dot ribbon and who are you when you send financial-aid emails. I consent to being your table runner so run and hide.


Karolina Zapal is an itinerant poet, essayist, translator, and author of two books: Notes for Mid-Birth (Inside the Castle, 2019) and Polalka (Spuyten Duyvil, 2018). As an immigrant and activist writer, she writes frequently about her native Poland, languages, borders, and women’s rights. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Rumpus, Painted Bride Quarterly, Inverted Syntax, Tupelo Quarterly, The Seventh Wave, and others. She works at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities.


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