Aubade in Transit

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’s poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including American Arts Quarterly, The Dark Horse, The New Criterion, Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, and…

Read the full bio

Issue 21 · October 2014

Table of contents