A black ceramic pot with a house plant inside a woven cotton pots against a bright window


But I insist the most important thing
is happiness. Ask Thomas Jefferson
or Bertrand Russell. Leave them pondering.
Prescribe yourself your favorite medicine,
go home and go to bed for like a week.
Tonight, the Mariachi band plays Happy
in the Old Town square. The pastel tones
of twilight wash up on a pink jalopy
and a T-shirt with the logo of the Stones.
It’s all about the tongue and lip technique.
Be happy. Can you tell me what that is?
O coterie of intellectuals? You can’t.
You have no theme for the analysis
beyond the banda of a potted plant
that leans into the sunshine that we seek.

Rick Mullin’s poetry has appeared in various journals and anthologies, including American Arts Quarterly, The New Criterion, The Dark Horse, Raintown Review, and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. His most recent collection, Lullaby and Wheel, was published in 2019 by Kelsay Books.