PoetryIssue 21 | October 2014

Aubade in Transit

by Rick Mullin

What is to the waking eye more beautiful
than coming into Lackawanna Station
in the first red ochre day of spring,
a slant light in the engine’s canticle,
the white forever dusting its libation
on the ashes of a reckoning,

a souvenir of New Orleans, a curtain
in the guest house room on Royal Street
with morning sundust lighting yellow ochre
and Elizabeth on waking in a certain
sprawl of legs on linen, hand on sheet,
the hand that slipped the gold clasp of her choker.

White Elizabeth at night stood tall
into the canopy, a bourbon twist,
café au lait, beignet, Elizabeth
who led me past the antiques in the hall
into an ancient bed. Her feet I kissed,
her thighs, and slept with bourbon on my breath.

This morning on the station bench, a sprite
alert among the ghostly winter shades
sits cross-legged, eating breakfast as in bed.
A gold croissant. Her nested coat folds white,
her morning hair beneath the balustrades
curls absinthe raven black around her head.

About the author

Rick Mullin has travelled throughout Europe and the US as a business journalist covering the pharmaceutical and chemical industries for the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News. He has made the occasional foray on his own as well. His forthcoming collection, Stignatz and the User of Vicenza, will be published by Dos Madres Press, which has also published his collections Coelacanth and Sonnets from the Voyage of the Beagle, as well as his long poem, Soutine, on the life of the painter Chaim Soutine.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok