My Secret

Alex Dimitrov

Chelsea neon signI’m suddenly 
one of those people 
who goes out 
to dinner alone. 
The wind around 
the Chelsea Piers 
is warm tonight. 
A dog on 10th Avenue 
barks so loud 
I can feel it, 
clawing at 
some part of me 
refusing people 
but okay with trees. 
There are still so many 
things I wouldn’t mind 
forgetting. Like the mail 
key I keep losing 
or the plant 
I almost bought 
but knew I’d kill. 
Everyone I love 
is disappointed in me. 
I don’t text or call 
or ever make real plans. 
I’m so sorry everybody! 
I am truly trying 
to run into you 
so casually 
and overdressed, 
there’d be no shame 
in our admitting 
we are animals 
and need each other. 
No shame in how we’re 
only terrible at life. 
Especially because 
(speaking for me) 
I am sadder than 
I look but happier 
than all the dead. 
And if you’ve seen 
how small we are 
in NASA’s photos, 
it’s impossible to 
think our happiness 
is that important. 
To order red 
and not want 
all of you to come 
because it is.


Alex Dimitrov

Alex Dimitrov is the author of Together and by Ourselves (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), Begging for It (Four Way Books, 2013), and the online chapbook American Boys (2012). He is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review and a Pushcart Prize. With Dorothea Lasky, he is the co-founder of the Astro Poets project.

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