My Secret

By Alex Dimitrov


I’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 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.