Eulogy for Mark Rothko

I’m a painter.
I paint pictures filled with my own big head.
I have trouble with the eyes,
they come out squint and yellow, begging.

People look at my riverbed skin and ask
Have you been stuck in a cupboard
with a sack on your face?
I tell them nothing.
I tell them I dreamt I was dead,
woke up one day and felt better
than I had for a long time.

There are many dead people.
Rothko, another painter, collapsed one day
and his wife said, lie there,
think about everything and let me know.

And he did lie there
and then he died
and when I’m like this, floating,
when my eyes are loose, set free,
I think of him and know that we’re each of us alone,
bought off separately
by dependence and every other thing.

 

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