PoetryIssue 08 | February 2010

Train Ride to Zagreb

by Ksenia Rychtycka

Love boards the train in Salzburg,
stumbles along a dim corridor
like the tumbling clowns you cowered from
at the one-ring circus.
It’s your door love finally
falls through – how your face
burns – is it innocence or envy

when the middle-aged lovers
don’t even spare you a glance
in an otherwise-empty compartment.

Apparently love has no boundaries
or need of hastily contrived disguises.

Remember how you scooped up those beads
and puca shells, tried piecing the necklace
whole even though it’d been years
since you touched his face, the
shadow of late-night kisses already vanishing.

This love is bound to fail, you say
at the border of Yugoslavia, fragile as the country
that’s about to split its seams,
one man waving his hat in farewell,
one woman braiding snips of light and dark
for a locket she has yet to buy.

Not far from Zagreb, a wife
readies her bags, a husband
gives away a bouquet of wilted daisies
to the little girl who’s tripped
over the station steps and dirtied
her polka-dotted dress.

Not far from Zagreb a woman talks of infidelities
and you dream of longings you have yet to bear.

About the author

Ksenia Rychtycka has backpacked through twelve countries in Europe, rescued a wayward parakeet on a winter morning in Ukraine, and received a private viewing of the Dafni Monastery mosaics thanks to a very kind Greek caretaker. Ksenia’s work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Dalhousie Review, Santa Fe Literary ReviewWisconsin Review and Yellow Medicine Review. She has recently completed Crossing The Border, a collection of short stories.

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