In an application to a writers’ residency I say that my forays into Polish poetry are attempts at becoming better in my first language, and that long-distance phone calls with my parents and family expedite that fluency. Now every time my mother texts me, though in English, the space bar which doubles as language indicator defaults to spacja. Next thing you know the calendar automatically observes Poland’s sovereignty anniversary, the Warsaw Uprising, the tearing down of The Wall, one day even Miłosz and Szymborska, their bodies and then those of their work. This is all part of the application. All this and war.
-- Marek Kulig immigrated to the USA from Poland in 1992. His poems and translations were published or are about to be published in The Orchards Poetry Review, Spire Light, the Under Review, Seneca Review, National Translation Month and elsewhere. The last line Spacja is a song title from the album “Radical” by the band Every Time I Die.