The Image That Would Not Rest: Jeanne Hébuterne

I couldn’t let go.

Of the way you saw me.

Envisioned me. Revealed me.

The way you painted my face.


It would all end.

The dream we both shared.

Our love on canvas.

It would all cease to blossom with your death.


With your untimely death.

I will not look at the world without you.

I will not persist.

I have seen it through your eyes.


And now they’re forever shut.

And so are mine.

I carry your heartbeat below my chest.

What we’ve almost made whole.


I don’t want to bring it into a world that has swallowed you.

I’m not the same who took part in the creation.

It was a two-people-act, two lovers.

Who can I be without you?


I hold it in me, the reminder that you have been erased.

Amedeo, let it not be too late, let me catch up.

We’ll find each other once more.

Don’t think of me as insane.


I can’t bring life as I’m so close to death.

It’s unbearable. Your absence.

Regard it as love, togetherness, belonging to you.

We’ve been entire, together, and that’s why I jumped, Amedeo.


“Portrait de Jeanne Hébuterne au Collier” by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)

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