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The Poisoner

By Justin Ehrlich

Drooped over the table like a fatigued
White lily, she sleeps peacefully, unmoved
By prowling wraiths. How innocent and pure
She seems with delicate oblivion
Concealing the austere machinery
Of her eyes. Silence is a breeding ground
For stagnant musing; if only I could
Express in black and white the way I felt
Without inviting opportunities
To smudge outlines to shades of grey. She drew
Maps of my weaknesses and planted pins
In the main lines. A stumbling cripple held
Together by the charity of her
Insight, I crawled beneath the blows of each
Small victory; pressed to delirium
Of slavery, I saw the bleeding chain
Of viscera that kept us near, but could
Not stand the prospect of her life unfolding
In my absence. The poison's run its course,
And she will never know how demons stalked
Her when she wakes to find my foetid corpse.

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