POETRY

My Fisherman's Sweater

By

The populace, attired in charcoal gray,
communicating sotto voce, plies
its ashen paths and paving stones today.
On sidewalks, pushing through the subway stiles,
a line of strangers, nondescript, performs
the common calisthenics. Everywhere
you look you see the urban uniforms,
deliberate obsidian, austere.
I, too, am cloaked in standard-issue black,
unpersonned in my scarf and coat and cap.
But you’d know where to send the body back,
were I to fall or fail to mind the gap—
One layer down, a cabled map is knit.
I found it after thirty years. It fit.

Rick Mullin’s epic poem, Soutine, on the life of the artist Chaïm Soutine, was published in 2012 by Dos Madres Press, Loveland, Ohio. His book-length poem, Huncke, was published in 2010 by Seven Towers, Dublin. His chapbook, Aquinas Flinched, was published in 2008 by the Modern Metrics imprint of Exot Books, New York City. Another chapbook, The Stones Jones Canzones, was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press. He works as an editor for the American Chemical Society. His forthcoming collection, Coelacanth, will be published by Dos Madres this summer, and will include "Chimaera" and "My Fisherman's Sweater".

The populace, attired in charcoal gray,
communicating sotto voce, plies
its ashen paths and paving stones today.
On sidewalks, pushing through the subway stiles,