by Rick Mullin
The Île de la Cité divides the gray
October mist and hunkers like a barge
upon the Seine, its blocks and steeples large
and low. You see the bookstalls on the quay
rise up like open coffins on a wall
where charcoal shades and fluid shapes reside,
where rough-hewn human figures flow outside
the lines, colliding, shifting stall-to-stall.
As Quai de Montebello fades beneath
Carpathian cloud forms, ashen sellers close
their plywood lids — or prop them nearly shut.
A face is framed. You know its tongue and nose
routine, familiar with its mouth. Those teeth.
The shadows where its hollow eyes are cut.
Rick Mullin is a business journalist and painter whose poetry has appeared in print and online journals including Umbrella Journal, Measure, Light Quarterly and The Shit Creek Review. His Chapbook, Aquinas Flinched, is available from Modern Metrics.