Train Ride to Zagreb

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's poetry chapbook A Sky Full Of Wings (Finishing Line Press, 2021) was selected as a finalist in the 2020 New Women's Voices…

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