Rothko Before the Color Fields

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Lord God of Monochrome Beauty,
forgive semi-abstraction.
Who cares for a single ear

rotting among ripe fruits?
Slow the art and speed
the lie, sliding

your foot closely,
close enough,
see a mosquito eat

at that plum. Blood meals
nourish diseased beasts.
Trompe l’oeil:

Spend long enough
with black canvas
in a chapel

by a dead man,
it purples, reddens.

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller’s poems can be found in Grist, Four Way Review, Pleiades, Indiana Review and elsewhere, and a non-fiction/poetry hybrid is online at Pacifica Lit Review. He is the Digital Non-Fiction Editor for Gulf Coast and a PhD student at the University of Houston.

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