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by Lorelei Jones

He swallowed death most eagerly

numbness spreading throughout his body

like a fur hide being slowly drawn up.

There wasn't a time for remorse or regret -

no, in fact, he welcomed the potential darkness.

It matched the blight on his soul.

Since losing Lenore

(his light, his heart)

he had nothing left but that damned black bird.

The bottle fell from his weak fingers

shattering on the stone floor

but he barely heard it

over the buzzing in his ears.

It wasn't bad, this dying.

There was no pain, no fear,

just a slow fading,

like butter melting in a warm pan.

Would he see her again?

That would imply an afterlife,

of which he was skeptical.

He would make do with an end to his pain,

escape from unceasing loneliness.

There, that hideous feathered figure

could knock until its beak wore off -

he would no longer answer.

Time became meaningless

as he floated through his last moments,

waiting in this sparsely furnished room

that he would not miss leaving behind.

In his final vision, the candle guttering,

he saw it was still night

and he felt it wryly appropriate

that he would expire before dawn's rays

touched his graying skin.

He slid from this life



between one indrawn breath

and the weak exhale,

his passage complete.

Was Lenore waiting for him there,

welcoming him to her bosom

with arms thrown wide?

We may think so, if it soothes us,

and so we shall

for we are more full of life than he,

more vital and sustained.

Quoth the raven,


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