you are in the diode archives fall 2009



The Beautiful Mistake

after Mark Rothko’s final painting, Untitled, 1970

The color that conceals the beautiful mistake is stark
and sets your eye in motion. There is a shade of tenderness,
a grief that passes through you                                                    

as you stand before the painting—like before a God
who for the first time sees you.

The color that conceals the beautiful mistake is red—
a red which rises high above the canvas, hanging
beside death, and forever longing to endure its weight.

To feel that red remember an old lover’s parting
glance, a wound, the plane you saw so rapidly descending—

then run your hand along the edge of beauty’s veil
and lift it slowly—slowly—
so your eye sees everything.


White Fire

for Anne Carson

To describe how rain touches morning in Iceland—
where St. Christopher often leads travelers
in spring—is to cross the impossible
bridge between water to drink
and water that drowns.

If you’re lonely enough, if you listen,
the wind will convince you, in its human-like
sadness—to open the windows
and let something in.

Watch as it lifts above the ice—
the unforgiving element—white

Remember, you too know something
about snow's passage to water:

how everything trembles when moving
from one form to another—how soon,
it is water that slicks your eye—
each lash burning
to put the fire out.  


Alex Dimitrov is the recipient of a Roy W. Cowden Fellowship from the Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan. His poems and reviews have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Poets & Writers, Crab Orchard Review, The Cortland Review, Gargoyle, and The Portland Review among others. He is the awards coordinator of the Academy of American Poets and the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City.