Maria Terrone: “Rothko’s Grave”


In a rural Long Island cemetery,

there is a kind of silence in the whispers

of autumn leaves once a crimson color field,

now at last released.

And there is a silence heavy

even in the small stones placed

on the rough-hewn grave of Mark Rothko,

self-silenced by drugs

and his own painter’s blade.

I add a pebble to the artful array—

its hue is pale, nearly translucent.

This small addition is not silence

but a kind of white noise to mask

the twitter of swallows sharing secrets

as they dart among the larger stones.

Maria Terrone is the author of the poetry collections Eye to Eye (Bordighera Press), A Secret Room in Fall (McGovern Prize, Ashland Poetry Press), The Bodies We Were Loaned (The Word Works), and a chapbook, American Gothic, Take 2. Her work, which has been published in French and Farsi, has appeared in various magazines, including Poetry, Ploughshares, and Hudson Review, as well as in more than 25 anthologies. In 2015 she became Poetry Editor of the journal Italian Americana.

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