Mark Rothko’s Final Painting Was a Self-Portrait

            February 25, 1970

You captured that moment
when, after drifting off to sleep
one afternoon, you awoke
in the evening and blinked,
then blinked again
and again and again until
you were able to pull something
tangible out from the dark
well of your awakening.

When the world that had been
unfocused for a few panicked
moments finally coalesced,
you saw clearly how the edge
of darkness was sharper
against the light.

Kip Knott’s most recent full-length book of poetry is Clean Coal Burn (Kelsay Books). More of his writing may be accessed at

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