Virginia Poe

We had no portraits of her

we had nothing in our heads but her face

alive and well

dining and singing and laughing

and sometimes sinning with Edgar.

When she coughed up the blood

the crimson stained her lips

and her cheeks would flush

looking like a painted lady

out on a holiday.

Edgar stared at her as she died

his eyes bulging ever so slightly

and within his breathing you could hear

the sound of a breaking soul

which had been held together with string

that had now been let loose.

The watercolorist drew her

with her eyes half open,

as if fighting sleep after a long, hard day.

“Let her sleep,” he said. And she did.

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