Belgrade Station
by Russell Rowland


The train pulls away from its platform,
slow as a difficult bowel movement.
Gypsy beggar women canvass the aisle,
extorting currencies. My new life,
new house with a mistress, lies ahead.

Back where the rails converge in haze,
three sat on the child’s canopied bed:
two estranged parents, reasonable, calm.
We both love you, you aren’t the cause;
you’ll have us both, in different homes.

Hands over her ears, she rolled away
from us, clutching the oft-darned doll,
the one trustworthy face. Our child
had seen us with our masks off, worse
than seeing us naked: sags and hairs.

As we strolled in the Kalemegdan, she
would not hold my hand. I felt bereft,
more bleak than when her mother left.
I tell myself you cannot lose the love
of a child, but am not yet convinced.

My mistress’s breasts are pliant dough.
She sleeps hugging a monkey, stuffed,
lips painted on its bare behind. It has
had her all to itself, so every morning
and night it invites me to kiss its ass.






Copyright 2019 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.