Beginning in Buenos Aires

Our saints, unlike us, live on offerings of fire.

I knelt and lit three candles,
lost in the streets of Borges.

Who will sit with you in the burning room?
Who will admit you?

There was no one to count the hours with at La Recoleta—

city of the dead, of mausoleums with marble staircases
for those who will rise one day.

Among roses and rosaries
the mind forgets itself.

My life, with each candle, sparked on the altar—

spilled over gently.
I let the wax burn my knees

but I knew how to stand in the empty church.
Without God or pity.

Alex Dimitrov's first book of poems, Begging For It, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2013. He is the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. His poems have appeared in the Kenyon Review, Yale Review, Boston Review, Tin House, and Best New Poets 2009. He works at the Academy of American Poets and frequently writes for Poets & Writers magazine.

By the Same Author

The Journal is a magazine of literature published four times yearly and supported by the Department of English, private contributions, advertisements, and sales. The magazine is endorsed by the Ohio State University, and its contents determined solely by the editorial staff. Address all correspondence to The Journal, The Ohio State University, Department of English, 164 W. 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail: managingeditor@thejournalmag.org.