Death, Mark Rothko

divide into two or more parts
returning to zygote form
fish-gills anointing their air-thirst with liquid
tornado-circular drains empty into the lungs by omission,
periscoping entrances,
thrusting life from the depths into a fountain

god seeks revenge that you should swim and breathe and not drown

slashing; turning life to the plainest of reds
an apple; the sin and the justice of gravity
slashing; the most expected of reds
blood-squeezed, rectangular to fit the unframed

flensing instruments creating and destroying
fast-forwarding high and low tides
pulsing oil in heartbeats onto the heads

the crowns
sunbathed and bleached
royal death in the galley
this final field of color

the instrument, the most expected of reds


Maggie Dove is a cross-genre Southern writer by way of South Florida. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hobart, Cosmonauts Avenue, JMWW, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Drunk Monkeys, *82 Review, and elsewhere. She is currently a semifinalist for the 2019 Pamet River Prize for her memoir manuscript "Dirtbag Lights" and is a 2019 Best of The Net nominee. She is petty and immature, and has many tribal tattoos from the 90s for which she refuses to be apologetic. Her blog can be found at and she is on Twitter @romcomdojo.