Sometimes I wish a Baltimore oriole had visited Edgar Allan Poe--an oriole instead of or least in addition to a raven.
Encountering the oriole might have influenced Poe to take a break from the relentless blacksmithing, the grim hammering out, of stories and poems.
All theoe tombs, mansions, cellars, casks, ill-fated crushes on cousins, demonic practical-jokers--all of it burying whimsy alive behind bricks of and mortar of gothic obsession.
Or better yet--a red-winged blackbird. Just that dash of scarlet--there, as the blackbird glides over a marsh, alights on top of a tall reed, retracts its wings, sings.
--A line of red on a black wing, red that does not signify blood. Death missing its train, unable to attend the masque, RSVP, regrets. A bolt falling out of the pendulum: and the adolescent fixation on garish imaginary torture grinds to a halt.
--A garrulous cop, whistling and talking as he helps the drunk, chilled, disoriented musty-coated writer home to a warm bed, a stove, a week's worth of rest and hearty breakfasts.
I imagine Edgar, still alive at sixty-five, lifting binoculars, finding the bird in magnified view, evermore. Dupin! Voila!